FOUR DOWNS: Campbell explains double timeout on final drive

by 24USATVNov. 26, 2021, 4 a.m. 20
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Chicago faced a 3rd and 9 with just under two minutes left in the game at the Detroit 16-yard line and trailing 14-13 coming out of a Detroit timeout.

As the Bears were about to snap the ball on their 3rd and 9 play, Detroit's defense looked confused and was forced to call another timeout, which is a 5-yard penalty in the NFL.

"Obviously can't do that," Lions head coach Dan Campbell said after the game. "But we had miscommunication. Half of our secondary had one call and half had the other. It was a check by what they were doing, so you don't get it until in the middle of the play, but it's something we had talked about. You don't get it pre snap. It's a call and it's got basically a check on it to what they're going to do and what they line up in offensively."

A blown coverage seemed imminent, and Campbell said the Bears were probably going to score a touchdown on the play had they not called the timeout.

"We were kind of in cover zero, and they went to max pro," linebacker Alex Anzalone said. "We checked to two high, cover two. And that's kind of why I was trying to relay the call. After that, I'm not really sure what happened.

"I think that we called timeout, and I'm not sure if everyone was on the same page. It was still, I think, third down after that. Either way, the five-yard penalty wasn't that huge of a deal. Rather than a touchdown, that really put the game out of arm's reach."

The 3rd and 4 opened up the playbook for the Bears, and they converted a short slant for a 7-yard gain and a first down.

Chicago was able to kneel down and drain the clock to win, 16-14, on a walk-off field goal.

Asked if there was anything else he could have done other than call timeout, Campbell said: "Stand there and watch them score, I guess."

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