(CBS) Bears coach John Fox authored one of the worst and most ironic replay challenges of all time in his team’s 23-16 loss to the Packers on Sunday.
It was so bad that it lowered the Bears’ chances of winning by 17.3 percent — from 58.3 percent to 41 percent, per the Prediction Machine.
The play occurred with about eight minutes left in the second quarter, with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky connecting with running back Benny Cunningham on a screen pass. After navigating down the right sideline, Cunningham reached for the pylon by diving from the 3-yard line but was initially ruled to have stepped out of bounds before the goal line.
Fox elected to challenge the call, believing that Cunningham hadn’t stepped out of bounds and had scored the touchdown. An official review conducted at NFL headquarters determined that like Fox thought, Cunningham hadn’t stepped out of bounds. But it also determined that Cunningham lost the football, which then hit the pylon for a touchback, giving the Packers possession.
Had Fox not challenged, the Bears would’ve had first-and-goal from about the 2-yard line while trailing 10-3. And ironically, Fox and the Bears were ruled to have won the challenge, because they contested that Cunningham hadn’t stepped out of bounds.
Fox later explained that in deciding to challenge the call, none of the Bears’ coaches considered that Cunningham could’ve fumbled the ball.