Shooting Yourself in the Foot: The Bizarre Ending of the First Half, Bears vs Steelers

Sep 24, 2017

by Chase Gage


CHICAGO — There are ill-advised plays, and then there are plays like the ones that ended the first half today in Chicago. There are dumb plays, and then there is this play.

With only six seconds remaining in the first half, the Pittsburg Steelers were attempting a field goal. The Chicago Bears held a 14-7 lead.

Then, the craziest, stupidest play I have seen all season happened.

The Bears blocked the field goal attempt from the 18-yard line. Marcus Cooper recovered the ball for the Bears and had a wide-open lane straight to the end zone. The problem is, he didn’t quite make it.

Cooper committed the ultimate sin in football. He stopped running before he reached the goal line. He threw away an 82-yard defensive touchdown because he wanted to gloat.

Seems like a good place to stop, right?

Cooper was stripped of the ball by the Steelers after stopping short of the one-yard line. The ball went into the end zone and was batted out of the back by a Steelers player. The clock had already expired and the officials called it halftime. Ends up, that wasn’t the case.

The Steelers had already gone into the locker room when the officials announced that the half was, in fact, not yet over. After review, they ruled that the ball was fumbled, but due to an “illegal bat” by Pittsburg, the Bears would get the ball at the one-yard line with no time on the clock. They would be allowed one play before the half.

The Steelers players had to jog out of the locker room back onto the field while the Bears offense was already in formation at the goal line. The Bears were going to go for the touchdown instead of the field goal with their free play.

Too bad they didn’t. A false start penalty forced the Bears into a first-and-goal from the six instead of inside the one, and they had to settle for a field goal. This gave them a 17-7 lead going into the half after leaving two potential touchdowns off the board.

The Bears were then unable to score for the entirety of the second half. The game went to overtime with the score at 17-17.

The game was saved for the Bears in overtime thanks to a 73-yard touchdown by Tarik Cohen. The Bears held on to win the game, 23-17.

WAIT. No they didn’t.

Cohen was ruled out of bounds at the 37-yard line before scoring the touchdown.

Jordan Howard then ran a 19-yard touchdown to end the game for real this time. Bears win 23-17.

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