By David Schuster-
OAKLAND (WSCR) — You hate to pin a loss on one play but it would be easy if you wanted to as the Bears lost to the Raiders 25-20 out here in Oakland.
With just 35 seconds left in the first half the Bears were trailing 9-7 but had a 2nd-and-1 at Oakland’s seven-yard line. Any coach with his head on straight would be running the ball to either get the first down or maybe punch it into the end zone. But noooooooooooo. Lovie Smith and Mike Martz decided to play geniuses again and called for a roll-out by Caleb Hanie to one side of the field with a throw across the field on an attempted screen pass. Hanie should have seen that the play was covered but threw it anyway and it was predictably picked off and returned 73 yards, leading to a Raiders last second field goal.
No big deal you say? Well consider this: It was a huge six-point swing. At least three points — if not seven — that the Bears didn’t get and Oakland did. I’ll repeat it again, a six-point swing. Now take a look at the final score and you’ll notice that the Bears lost by five.
Of course Smith defended the play after the game saying that the Bears are always trying to win. He didn’t expand on that answer and pretty much went into his defensive shell.
As for Hanie, overall he didn’t have a very good game with a QB rating of just over 56. He admitted that he was nervous early on and you could see he was guiding the ball as opposed to just throwing it. His three interceptions were obvious killers but he did get better in the second half. But again, I ask, why some of the play calls? The Bears averaged over six yards a carry on the ground. Why not continue to pound it?
Oh well, what do I know? I’m just a reporter sitting in the press box. But even up here it was clear as day that some stupid play calls contributed to the loss.