Calvin Johnson, by the letter of NFL rule, should still be waiting patiently in the end zone this morning — with the ball, after catching it cleanly there with two feet down, taking a couple steps and landing softly on his rear end.
Because apparently, he’s not allowed to then turn around and get up without worrying about the ball. How long must he sit there before the score counts?
I get it: no clear marking point between the end of the “act” of the catch and the initiation of the “act” of getting up. I understand that the call was probably right. But everyone knows that was a touchdown.
And everyone knows, more importantly, that the Bears almost lost at home to an NFL dreg that was using a bad backup quarterback for an entire half.
The biggest beneficiary of the TD controversy may be Lovie Smith, whose boneheaded decision not to kick on fourth and goal was worse than the Wannstedt “No Brainer” call against Green Bay. He defended his idiocy by stating his trust in the defense, which actually argues against his call — since a coach who trusts his defense kicks the field goal and takes the lead. And he had Zach Bowman alone against Johnson on the non-TD play, which is criminal.
Run blocking was bad, pass blocking ok when they ran two-man patterns, and the triumverate of Urlacher, Peppers and Briggs excelled. Too many fumbles, too many penalties.
This was a lucky, lucky win. Over the Lions. At home.
Terry and I talk about it all this afternoon, with Zach Zaidman checking in from Lake Forest. We may solicit some expert help in figuring out the potential league-rule impact of the disallowed score.
Bears 2010 is going to be a bumpy, wild ride, and this was a fitting way for it to begin.