The most memorable play in the Bears’ 38-31 win over the Browns on Sunday was undoubtedly Alshon Jeffery’s 45-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter, a prayer answered on a wobbly Jay Cutler deep ball that allowed the Bears to tie the score at 24. But what didn’t get enough recognition in the sequence was the unnecessary roughness penalty Browns linebacker Jabaal Sheard drew on that play. The Browns received a 15-yard punishment for Sheard’s shot on Cutler. And that allowed the Bears to kick off from midfield. With the Browns’ ordinary kickoff return game, Bears coach Marc Trestman and special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis instructed kicker Robbie Gould to try and hem the Browns in deep in their own territory rather than simply taking an easy touchback. Gould blooped a pop-up to Browns return man Fozzy Whittaker at his own 1. The Bears coverage team raced in and Craig Steltz tackled Whittaker at the 14. “We felt we could get some field position,” Trestman said. “And we did. We got them inside, right around the 10 yard line. We bought ourselves (six) yards. "We were in position to cover the kick immediately because the time in the air and the distance. And that’s really the decision that has to be made. You have to feel good about your cover team, which we did. You’ve got to feel good about Robbie being able to kick it properly, which we did. And I thought we executed very, very well.” Sunday’s effort in Cleveland paid off. The Browns, starting from their own 14, went three-and-out. And Devin Hester then returned Spencer Lanning’s 47-yard punt 21 yards to the Browns 36, setting up a short go-ahead touchdown drive.
Special teams strategy sparked Bears' rally
Chicago Tribune | Dec 19