As the Bears searched for any sort of offensive spark during Sunday’s game against the Cowboys, head coach Matt Eberflus and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy dug into their bag of tricks. It failed. Badly.
On 3rd-and-15 from its own 20-yard-line, Chicago ran a double pass that simply didn’t work at all.
Justin Fields took the snap and threw a forward pass to Dante Pettis near the sideline, who had to drop to a knee to make the catch. On the other side of the field, David Montgomery set up in the flat behind three offensive lineman.
The goal was for Pettis to draw the defense to the left side before throwing back across field to the running back. From there, with the defense crashing down on Pettis, Montgomery was supposed to catch the double pass with a wall of Big Uglies to clear a path down the sideline for a first down.
Had it gone according to plan, there was a decent amount of space in front of Montgomery.
The Chicago Bears trick play did not work.
It did not go according to plan. Instead, Pettis turned back, paused for a moment to let the defense further swarm, and unleashed the throw to Montgomery.
He airmailed it. The ball went sailing all the way back to Chicago, over Montgomery’s head and out of bounds.
Obviously, the Bears did not gain the first down and were forced to punt. And to make matters worse, Pettis’ throw to Montgomery was also a forward pass, in addition to Fields’ initial throw to Pettis.
Thus, Chicago was flagged for an illegal forward pass.
So, not only did the trick play on 3rd-and-15 not work. It actually created even worse field position for the Bears. Rather than punting from the 20-yard-line, they got moved back to the 15-yard-line and had to punt from their own goal line. Brutal.