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  • Created On:
    09/07/2011 9:56 PM
  • Last Update:
    01/17/2019 7:25 AM

Bad Beats: Biggest travesty in Chicago wasn't C. Johnson's non-catch

by Ben Burns

*Editor's Note: Ben went 7-1 in Week 1, his only loser was the Bears. He's now 14-3 his last 17 NFL picks. Read more about that game below.


Nothing went right in Chicago's 19-14 win over the Lions on Sunday.

The Bears should have covered the spread and the total should have gone over. Shoulda, woulda, coulda - welcome to an NFL season guaranteed to produce a plethora of bad beats.

Detroit moneyline players are probably saying, ‘What about us?' But anyone who laid the 6.5 with the Bears and/or took Over 44.5 has much more reason to complain.

Most of the aftermath has been centered on Calvin Johnson's potential game-winning touchdown reception that was overturned because he did not complete the process of the catch. You can watch it here.

According to Mike Pereira, the former head of the NFL referees and now an analyst for FOX, and Tennessee coach and co-chairman of the rules committee Jeff Fisher, it was the correct call. But you have to wonder whether it would have been allowed if it had been a meaningless garbage touchdown rather than game-changing one-a meaningless garbage touchdown that should have pushed the game over the total.

Nevertheless, for anyone who played the Bears -6.5, it shouldn't have mattered. Chicago should have taken care of business early in the fourth quarter, after recovering a fumble at the Detroit one. Trailing 14-13, Chicago took four cracks from the one and failed to score. If they would have scored, they likely would have gone for two and could have made it 21-14. Alas, much to the chagrin of Bears and over bettors, the scored remained 14-13, Lions.

Eventually, the Bears grabbed the lead later in the fourth on a touchdown pass to Matt Forte, his second TD reception of the game. They went for two and failed, making the score 19-14 with 1:32 to play. In bad beats reality, it should have been 28-14, sealing the deal for the Bears and likely making the officials not as nit-picky on Johnson's ensuing catch.

In the end, the Bears should have won 28-21, covering the spread and eclipsing the over. Instead, bettors on the right side of this game are left saying shoulda, woulda, coulda.

David Payne wrote this on behalf of Ben Burns

In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell asks the question: "What makes high achievers different?" Gladwell suggests that those at the top of their field have a number of similarities - that their upbringing (culture... Read more

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