If you were watching the Bears’ final drive on Sunday afternoon and thought, “Hey, they’re running the same play again and again,” then congratulations! You’re right. From NFL.com:
“They threw the same pass play I think all the way down the field,” safety Charles Godfrey said via the Charlotte Observer. “That was a great play for that coverage and they just ran that play all the way down the field. And the coverage we were in, we just stayed in that coverage.”
Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera was quoted as saying, “We were trying to make them systematically beat us.” I’d say they were pretty successful in doing so. Why didn’t Rivera, a defensive coach, take his final timeout to give his defense a breather and let them reset? It was obvious that their soft Cover 2 was providing more than enough space for Brandon Marshall and Earl Bennett to eat up yards; surely stopping the clock was a worthwhile risk as opposed to death by paper cuts (or 10-yard out routes).