CHICAGO (CBS) — Bears coach John Fox defended his team’s play-calling after a brutal 36-10 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday, saying the game came down to turnovers.
Quarterback Jay Cutler threw two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, and lost two fumbles, including one that resulted in a safety, and running back Jordan Howard also lost a fumble.
“We were minus-four,”Fox told WBBM Newsradio’s Josh Liss on Monday. “We had five giveaways and only one takeaway. I think when we threw the Hail Mary right before half, I still felt confident – as poorly as the first half went – in the second half that we could turn things around, and we just didn’t respond.”
The Bears had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the first quarter after picking off Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston deep in Tampa Bay territory, only to have Cutler sacked and stripped of the football while scrambling on third-and-goal. The Bears called only one running play for Howard in the red zone, even though he averaged 6.7 yards per carry on Sunday.
“A lot of times, the defense dictates what play you run, so I don’t put much stock in that,” Fox said. “How a defense plays you really kind of affects whether you run or pass. Again, it comes down to execution. When you don’t execute, you don’t win.
“Our issue’s not play-calling. It’s execution of plays, and that’s all of us, and we definitely have to get back and get better.”
Even with four turnovers in the first half, the Bears were still in the game, down only seven points at halftime thanks to a Hail Mary touchdown to Cameron Meredith to end the second quarter. However, Fox said his team didn’t respond after the Buccaneers had two huge plays on the first drive of the second half to go up 24-10.
You can listen to the full interview with Fox below: