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Why didn't Bears kick field goal?

Posted Nov 13, 2013

Larry discusses why the Bears went for a fourth down conversion against the Lions, Jay Cutler's interception in the end zone and Charles Tillman's future with the Bears.

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

Early in Sunday's game against the Lions, the Bears went for a fourth down conversion and passed on a sure field goal. Potentially it cost them the game, given the final score. Why leave sure points on the table so early in a game?

Chuck B.
Novato, California

Coach Marc Trestman kept the offense on the field primarily because he felt that the Bears needed to score a touchdown rather than settle for a field goal on that possession because they were facing such a potent offense. The Lions scored 40 points earlier this season against the Bears, amassed 623 total yards a week earlier in a win over the Cowboys, and had driven the length of the field for a touchdown on their first possession Sunday at Soldier Field. I think Trestman may have opted to kick a field goal against a team that's not as explosive on offense. His fourth-down gamble a week earlier against the Packers paid off big-time, but this one obviously didn't when Michael Bush was stopped for no gain on fourth-and-one at the Lions' 27-yard line early in the second quarter.   

Do you think that Jay Cutler's interception in the red zone against the Lions was a bad decision?

Rick H.
Knoxville, Tennessee

The interception that Jay Cutler threw in Week 2 against the Vikings, when his pass over the middle was deflected and picked off in the end zone, probably should not have been thrown. But I think his interception versus the Lions was completely different. Cutler had tight end Martellus Bennett open on a quick slant and the pass looked to be on target. But defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh came out of nowhere on a stunt, reaching his hand out and deflecting the ball. It was a great play by a very good player. Cutler did not throw the ball into traffic, so I don't think it was a bad decision at all. Sometimes we just have to give credit to an opponent for making an impressive play.

Being that Charles Tillman is in the final year of his contract and he's finished this season unless the Bears go to the playoffs, is there any chance that Chicago will re-sign him?

Scott M.
Springfield, Illinois

There's certainly a chance. As I'm sure you know, the Bears have a slew of players who are in the final year of their contracts and they'll have a lot of important decisions to make during the offseason. I personally think that Charles Tillman is still capable of playing at a high level for a few more seasons, but that doesn't mean he'll be back for sure. We'll just have to wait and see.

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