The Chicago Bears had a busted coverage in the final minute against Green Bay. That happens a lot over an NFL season. But this one was just so dramatic, and that’s the problem.
Randall Cobb's touchdown catch from Aaron Rodgers put the Packers in the playoffs and eliminated the Bears. Add in Rodgers' comeback from a broken collarbone, and it's a play that will be talked about for a long time. If it was Week 3 and Chase Daniel threw this touchdown, we wouldn’t be having a conversation about it.
This is all speculation, but here's what I think what happened to lead to Cobb being wide open, after watching the film.
It looked like Bears linebacker James Anderson was calling the coverage before the play. What I think he was calling was cover-zero blitz. Multiple players shifted, including cornerback Isaiah Frey, who came up to the line showing blitz. And I don’t know if safety Chris Conte didn’t hear it or what happened. But he was the only one who didn’t do that coverage.
Anderson was calling and yelling, and I don’t know what he said and I don’t know who heard what, but he was definitely calling something out.
Everyone but Conte played cover zero. Major Wright came down to cover the first slot receiver, Jordy Nelson, Conte lined up over the second slot, but he never looked at Cobb. He was playing another coverage. In my opinion, it looked like Conte was looking to get underneath the outside receiver, so it looked like he was playing a zone. His movement suggested he was trying to get underneath the outside.
Packers fullback John Kuhn crossed the formation, because the Packers had to squeeze down with the offensive line to pick up the Bear's inside blitzers, and Kuhn got just enough of Bears end Julius Peppers so Rodgers could move to his left. And Rodgers had a wide-open Cobb to throw to.
It was a bust. It happens. But this one happened to be on a play that won a game and put a team into the playoffs.
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NFL analyst and NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell watches as much NFL game film as anyone. Throughout the season, Cosell will join Shutdown Corner to share his observations on the teams, schemes and personnel from around the league.