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Bears vs Packers: Breaking Down Tom Crabtree's Gutsy Fake Field Goal TD

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 13:  Tight end Tom Crabtree #83 of the Green Bay Packers carries the ball after catching a second quarter pass by punter Tim Masthay #8 for a touchdown against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on September 13, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2012

Admit it—you didn't see the fake field goal coming.

We know the Bears didn't, we know Aaron Rodgers didn't—it was chaos (via CBS Sports).

If you were wondering just what the heck happened, fear not—I have broken it down for you with the wonderful Game Rewind All-22 Coaches Tape.

It's really, at it's heart, a very simple play.

As you can see in this first clip—a nice end zone view—the Bears had overloaded the left side of the line (your right). We'll break the Packers down thoroughly in a second but in essence, backup tight end Tom Crabtree (far right) will pull back and run across to the more lightly defended portion of the field where the Packers are hoping to clear a path for him.

The idea being, with the majority of the Bears on the opposite side of the line, he should have a clear shot at the end zone.

In the linked article above, Crabtree says they were waiting for the Bears to give them a particular 'look'—an overloaded left side must have been it.

From a different angle we see Crabtree (yellow circle) off of the line and slightly back. He will pull backward entirely and cut across the field, looking for his blockers on the right side. 

Punter Tim Masthay was holding for the kick. He needs to catch the ball and instantly hit Crabtree with a shovel pass. It has to happen fast, and it does—so fast that your eye played a little trick on you and you weren't sure where the ball went.

With a guard (white circle) pulling ahead of him and another blocker firing out, the Packers are hoping Crabtree will face little opposition on the run.

Back in the end zone angle, we see Crabtree with the ball, right behind his two blockers. On the right side of the shot, you can see seven defenders—the majority of the Bears' special team—looking for the ball, totally confused.

Meanwhile, Crabtree joins his convoy.

The rest of the run is simplicity itself—he just follows his big uglies and heads for the end zone.

It's not a play you can do often—maybe you get away with it once, possibly twice if you wait a long time between attempts.

But it was just the spark the Packers needed to get their momentum. It was a gutsy call by head coach Mike McCarthy, which Packer fans hope he will never find himself in a position to make again. 

 

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