In the Seattle Seahawks’ 27-24 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll knew he couldn’t do one thing: let Aaron Rodgers have the final possession.
So, when the Packers decided to punt the ball after they failed to convert on third-and-2 from their own 33-yard line with 4:23 left in the fourth quarter while being down by three, Carroll was excited for the opportunity to finish the game.
“We get the ball in that situation to me it was like ‘Oh, here we go this is our time,’” Carroll said in his postgame press conference. “You know it’s four minute time and thrilled to see that happen.”
After the Packers’ punt, the Seahawks ran the ball four straight times for 24 yards and followed that up with three straight kneel downs to end the game.
Victory formation. Ball game. No Rodgers.
The Seahawks took matters into their own hands to win, and this is something that Matt Nagy’s Bears must learn how to do if they want to take the next step in becoming a complete offense.
According to Football Outsiders, the Bears are No. 2 in the league in Game Time (leading) with 38:23, which is only behind the Chiefs, who are No. 1 with 42:37.
In all six Bears’ wins this season, the team has had the lead heading into the fourth quarter but, at times, have failed to end the games with a time-consuming drive that would eventually lead to a series of kneel downs.
Take for example the Week 2 matchup against the Seahawks. With 4:29 left in the fourth quarter, Danny Trevathan caused a fumble on Russell Wilson. The Bears’ offense took over and had a great opportunity to end the game, but were unable to keep the drive alive and only took 1:47 off the clock, and the Seahawks would end up scoring a touchdown on the next possession.
In Arizona, after Bryce Callahan intercepted Josh Rosen with 1:16 left in the fourth quarter, the Bears’ offense ran three plays for seven yards and were off the field 27 seconds later.
Obviously, those failed attempts to end the game offensively didn’t hurt the Bears – this time.
But with four games in the division still left on the schedule and a matchup with the Rams, who are No. 4 in Game Time (leading) according to Football Outsiders, Nagy’s unit can’t allow his opponents, which will have some good quarterbacks, to have any more additional opportunities.
And the next opportunity could present itself this Sunday night with the Bears hosting the Vikings at Soldier Field.
This is shaping up to be a competitive matchup and it could come down to whoever has the ball last. Kirk Cousins and company will be looking to take the NFC North crown from the Bears, but if Mitch Trubisky and the offense close out the game, Cousins won’t get that chance.