There are times for trick plays. Being up 11 points in the fourth quarter, fielding a punt inside your 20-yard line, is not one of them.
Game situation mattered none to Mike McCarthy. The Packers coach had this throwback fake on a punt return written out on his play card and by golly, he was going to use it.
So the Packers tried it, fumbled it away and gave the Bears some life in the fourth quarter, in one of the most baffling coaching decisions of this or any other season.
The Packers' Randall Cobb fielded a punt, then turned to his right and threw a lateral back to Jeremy Ross. Ross, it should be noted, was trusted with this play despite it being his third career NFL game and him having no career rushes or receptions to his name. He was basically handling the ball for the first time in the NFL in the shadow of his own end zone on a fake play. And Ross fumbled.
The Bears recovered the fumble at Green Bay's 16-yard line. The Packers defense - no doubt thrilled to be back on the field after that debacle of a play - did hold Chicago to a field goal, but it cut the Packers lead from 21-10 to 21-13. Baffling doesn't begin to describe what happened.
McCarthy has a Super Bowl and has won many games as Green Bay's coach, but someone should have taken away his headset before he gave the green light on that decision.
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