Did Lovie Smith's Timeout With the Bears Driving Ruin a Trip To The Super Bowl?

Ryan Neiman@RyanNAnthony Contributor IIIJanuary 23, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 23:  Brian Urlacher #54 of the Chicago Bears reacts late in the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

With the Chicago Bears down 21-14, driving down the field by the sensational play of third string quarterback Caleb Hanie, the Packers defense appeared to be vulnerable to any play. But on a 3rd and 3, at the Packers 30-yard line, Lovie Smith called a time-out from the sidelines.  The Bears appeared to have called the right play with a run up the middle with Matt Forte

However, Lovie felt otherwise.

The Bears called a time-out, and they drew up a play they felt would give them a first down. Instead, the Bears called for a wide receiver reverse with Earl Bennett. The Green Bay Packers swarmed Bennett to cause a loss of yards.  The ensuing play, Hanie's pass was intercepted by Sam Shields and the Bears Super Bowl dreams evaporated instantly. 

What many Bears fans will be wondering for months to come is how could the Bears waste a time-out and run a wide receiver reverse on third-down? Fans would think that a coaches playbook expands more than a high school play. 

In a crucial point in the game, the Bears had the Packers defense on the ropes as their offense and their fans finally woke up.  The Bears should have waited for the Packers to call a time-out as they were the ones that were struggling to adjust to the Bears offense.  Hanie was picking apart the Packers defense in a hurried offense. 

However, for some reason, the Bears thought it was a great idea to interrupt their offensive game flow and to allow the Packers defense to catch their breath.  This decision will forever haunt the coaches and the fans will not be able to let this one go.

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The Bears grinned it out til the end and they gave it all they could.  In a sense of urgency, the players finally stepped up to give the Bears one more chance to win the game.  Too bad the coaches did not give it their all when it counted the most.

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