NFL GameChangers: Week 10 Edition (11/12/17)
After a 23-yard catch and run by Benny Cunningham, the Bears were 1st-and-Goal from the Packers' 2-yard-line before a John Fox challenge allowed replay to show his running back fumbled the ball out of the end zone.
In case you missed it, here's the play …
Bear down Chicago Bears song added to the Benny Cunningham play/challenge that didn't end well the Bears. Ref's explanation with John Fox, and Mike McCarthy reactions pic.twitter.com/BkwdLU7Ioa— ?arcusD (@_MarcusD2_) November 12, 2017
Fox's challenge was that Cunningham did NOT step out of bounds and, instead, scored a touchdown. However, whoever was giving him advice to challenge failed to recognize the obvious fact that Cunningham lost control of the ball before he crossed the goal line. There was no need to challenge when trailing 10-3 in the second quarter.
If Fox (and the Packers) had elected not to challenge and the Bears had 1st-and-Goal from the Packers' 2-yard-line, their PW% was 58.3%. Instead, the red zone turnover handed the Packers the ball with a 59.0% PW%. The decision to challenge literally flipped the game on its head and probably cost the Bears a touchdown and chance at a win. So, it's only fitting the Packers won by seven, 23-16.
With Jacksonville trailing by three points late in the game, the Jaguars and Chargers committed three consecutive turnovers before the Jags defense forced a timely 3-and-out.
It only took 11 seconds for projected win percentages to swing drastically. With 2:00 on the clock, the Chargers PW% was 56.2%. After Blake Bortles tossed a pick on the next play, L.A.'s PW% soared to 95.5%. Austin Ekeler's ensuing fumble flipped the field and Jags' PW% to 64.1% with 1:49 on the clock.
Bortles ruined the opportunity to tie with a horrendous interception on 3rd-and-long. The Chargers' PW% was 84.7% with less than 90 ticks on the clock.
Jacksonville's three timeouts came in handy when they held Melvin Gordon to six yards on three carries to force the three-and-out. Pinned back inside their own 15-yard-line, the Chargers' short punt handed the Jags great field position – near midfield – which improved the Jaguars' PW% from 21.5% to 46.1%.
Los Angeles had multiple chances to close things out, but even two late Blake Bortles interceptions couldn't bury the Jaguars. After those events, a pair of Josh Lambo field goals would tie and win the game for the Jags. Jacksonville takes it iin OT, 20-17.
With the Colts leading 17-9 early in the fourth quarter, Jacoby Brissett's pass slipped through Jack Doyle's hands before Pittsburgh's Ryan Shazier intercepted it on the Colts' 10-yard-line.
Even with the ball on their own 13-yard-line and facing 3rd-and-long, the Colts PW% was 71.4%. After the pick, the Steelers took control with a 60.1 PW%. Three plays later, Ben Roethlisberger found a wide-open Vance McDonald in the end zone and connected with Martavis Bryant for the two-point conversion to tie the game at 17 with 11:52 on the clock. Indianapolis never owned an edge again.
Ryan Shazier with an interception straight outta Maddenpic.twitter.com/xjbb76TrHc— NFL Retweet (@NFLRT) November 12, 2017
Although the interception can be blamed on Doyle's bad hands, one wonders if Brissett should have played the fourth quarter. According to the Colts, their quarterback was required to pass two concussion tests - late in the third quarter - due to helmet-to-helmet contact with Pittsburgh's Stephon Tuitt. Despite not missing a snap, Brissett developed symptoms after the game and is now in concussion protocol.