Listen, John Fox does not want you to second guess his clock management. The Bears head coach brushed off questions about his handling of the game clock following a 37-34 overtime loss to the Lions on Sunday, a game that really could have gone either way had a few plot points turned out differently, including Fox's terrible handling of the game clock at the end of regulation.
With around a minute left in the fourth quarter and the Bears leading by four points, Detroit ran the ball for four yards on first-and-6 from the Bears 6-yard line. Fox let the clock run after that play, until the official stopped it because Bears defensive lineman Jay Ratliff was injured. The Lions then had second-and-2 with 49 seconds left to play. They scored two plays later, taking a 34-31 lead with just 21 seconds left to play.
Asked about the decision not to call a timeout after the Lions' 4-yard run, Fox said:
"As it worked out, we had enough time to go down there and tie the game. So it really doesn't matter."
On the play after that, the Lions got a penalty for intentional grounding when Matthew Stafford threw the ball out of bounds from the pocket. Fox could have declined the 10-second runoff, but he didn't. The Bears head coach remained steadfast in his refusal to acknowledge the error.
"Well, just didn't think it was ... it was 10 seconds, they backed it up. Like I said, hindsight, which we all get to do, we wish we probably would have had 10 more seconds."
Fox probably could have had a least a little more time after the Bears got the ball back with 21 seconds left, down by three. Cutler hit Alshon Jeffery on back-to-back plays for a total of 49 yards. They got a defensive pass interference call after that, and found themselves at the Lions' 11-yard-line. With four seconds left, Fox sent in his field goal team, kicked it and tied the game. Overtime. Bears go on to lose.
Fox had all three of his timeouts left when the Bears got the ball back on their final drive.
"I look at it the other way. We went like 70 yards in a short amount of time to tie the game," Fox said when asked about not using his timeouts.
Bad clock management, playing gutless for the tie ... it's a monument to terrible NFL coaching no matter how you choose to look at it.
Here's the transcript in case you're in disbelief.
Bears HC John Fox's postgame Q&A about managing the clock while the defense was on the field in the final minute: pic.twitter.com/QntLumJYPV— Rich Campbell (@Rich_Campbell) October 18, 2015
And this isn't the first time Fox has struggled with the clock. He famously pissed off Peyton Manning last season, while he was coaching the Broncos, when he didn't call a timeout at the end of the first half while trailing the Rams 13-7, a game they went on to lose. He sat his on timeouts earlier this season too, against the Raiders, a game they eventually won, barely.
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