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Robinson explains pivotal play late in loss


One of the costliest miscues in last Sunday's crushing loss to the Lions came in the final seconds when the Bears were threatening to score the potential game-winning touchdown.

Trailing 34-30 and facing third-and-5 from the Detroit 24 with :22 remaining, Mitchell Trubisky completed a quick pass to Allen Robinson II near the right sideline. Robinson seemingly could have picked up the first down, but instead stepped out of bounds a yard short of the marker, stopping the clock with :16 to play.

The Bears then turned the ball over on downs on the next snap when David Montgomery was stopped for no gain on fourth-and-1 from the Lions' 20 with :11 to go.

During a video call with the media Wednesday, Robinson detailed his thought process, explaining what led to him stepping out of bounds before picking up the first down.

First, the veteran receiver didn't realize that Lions cornerback Amani Oruwariye had fallen down on the play. Even though the Bears had one timeout remaining, Robinson was determined not to get tackled or have his forward progress stopped inbounds.

"There's no way that I would be able to feel [Oruwariye had fallen down]," Robinson said. "As soon as I was swiping by, my eyes were coming back to the ball to locate the ball, so I had no idea until I watched it the next day to see that he even fell. As I stepped back to the ball to catch it, the whole time I'm thinking he's standing up or about to make a play."

A second issue was that the member of the chain gang who was holding the first-down marker had moved a few steps toward the line of scrimmage to avoid a possible collision with the players, so Robinson thought he was closer to picking up the first down than he actually was.

"As I'm kind of pushing up the field, I kind of see the marker, but the marker was [in] a little bit different [of a spot] than where the marker was on the ground," Robinson said. "So as I'm kind of pushing up and then I look on the ground, I try to step over the marker, but obviously I came up a yard short."

Robinson explained why he always looks at the first-down marker that's held by a member of the chain crew rather than the orange strip on the ground.

"I'm always looking up," Robinson said. "I'm never looking at the ground with the marker on the ground. I'm looking at the chains because I'm looking at the defenders in my peripheral [vision], and that's all I'm looking at. I'm never really looking down at the ground."

Robinson turned toward the sideline like he said Bears receivers are taught to do in two-minute drills, but conceded that his turn may have been too wide.

"That's our two-minute rule, is you turn it toward the sideline," Robinson said. "Looking back at it, if I didn't turn as wide, I may have been able to get up the field or kind of go forward. But at the same time, I'm thinking about the clock, I'm thinking about everything, because I have to advance the ball so the clock will stop. I can't stalemate. The ball has to be going up the field and out of bounds for the clock to stop. It's one of those things that's a bang-bang thing.

"I'm thinking he's standing up, so I'm trying to protect the throw the entire time. That was the only thing that was going through my mind at that time was protecting the catch and protecting the throw."