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Bears vs. Lions: Jay Cutler's scramble was 'biggest play of the game'

Jay Cutler's scramble proved fruitless after the Bears were eliminated from postseason contention but at the time, it was nothing short of heroic.

Gregory Shamus

With the must-win game in doubt on Sunday and a playoff spot on the line, quarterback Jay Cutler took matters into his own hands, scrambling 19 yards for a first down late in the fourth quarter to put the game on ice.

Lovie Smith called it "the biggest play of the game," but following the Minnesota Vikings defeat of the Green Bay Packers, it turned out to be nothing more than the cap-off of a yet another late season collapse in Chicago. Now Smith is referred to as "former head coach" and the Bears are out of the playoffs.

Still, Cutler's awareness is worth commendation. In his own words, writes Michael C. Wright of ESPN Chicago, Cutler had to do "whatever it takes to get a first down."

"They covered it up well," Cutler said. "I thought Evan might sneak out of there. The linebacker got over the top, covered him up well. (I) had Marshall on a cross, kind of looked at him. They had him covered."

The play allowed the Bears to run the ball with Matt Forte a few more times, then kneel the ball to run out the clock.