Bears’ Cole Kmet Goes Off on Lions’ Aidan Hutchinson’s Fourth-Down ‘Jump’

Cole Kmet

Getty Chicago Bears tight end Cole Kmet sent a message on the crucial fourth-down offsides penalty to Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson.

Tight end Cole Kmet and the Chicago Bears hadn’t beaten the Detroit Lions in two years prior to their 28-13 victory in Week 14. But despite that drought, Kmet hadn’t forgotten how to pour salt into a rival’s open wound.

After the Lions loss to the Bears, Kmet was in awe over the pivotal play of the game where Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson jumped offsides to give the Bears offense a free play on fourth-and-long.

“Fourth-and-13, hell of a cadence. I thought no way in hell are they jumping,” Kmet told reporters following the game, via The Chicago Sun-Times’ Jason Lieser. “They jumped. I don’t know how you could jump in that situation, but they did.”

With the game tied 13-13 late in the third quarter, Chicago quarterback Justin Fields took advantage of Hutchinson’s mistake. After seeing the defensive end jump offsides, Fields found D.J. Moore for a 38-yard touchdown.


Bears Had No Intention of Snapping the Ball on Fourth-and-13

If those comments weren’t enough salt in the wound, Kmet continued, telling reporters that the Bears had no intention of snapping the ball on offense. Kmet explained that all along, he figured the Bears would take a delay-of-game penalty and then punt from the Lions 43-yard line.

“No, I was shocked. Shocked,” Kmet said about the Bears running a play on fourth-and-13.

“If they do jump, we all knew what we’re getting to. But it was fourth-and-13, and we’re at the [38-yard line]. That’s prime take-a-delay [penalty].

Instead, the Bears took the lead for good with the touchdown.

On the second play of Detroit’s ensuing offensive drive, Lions quarterback Jared Goff fumbled a snap. The Bears recovered the ball at the Lions 29-yard line.

Five plays later, Chicago was back in the end zone with a two-score lead.

So while the Bears won by two touchdowns, Hutchinson jumping offsides proved to be a very pivotal play in the Lions loss.


Officials Missed a Intentional Grounding Penalty on Play Prior to Hutchinson Jumping Offsides?

Chicago didn’t record the improbable fourth-and-13 without some controversy.

On third-and-13 prior to the fourth-down touchdown, Lions linebacker Julian Okwara had Fields within his grasp for a near sack when Fields unloaded the ball.

Fields’ pass attempt traveled about a yard or two and bounced off the leg of Bears right tackle Darnell Wright. No eligible Bears receiver was in the area, but the officials didn’t call intentional grounding.

Referee Tra Blake announced that his crew didn’t call intentional grounding because “a hit on the quarterback affected the pass.” However, Okwara’s hit occurred prior to Fields beginning his throwing motion.

“I mean, I thought it was (intentional grounding), but it’s up to the refs to make those calls, so we just got to keep playing,” Okwara told reporters, via Birkett. “Move on to the next play.”

Lions head coach Dan Campbell was obviously upset on the sidelines about no intentional grounding being called on the play. He didn’t want to discuss the play in his postgame press conference.

“I don’t want to answer that, I don’t,” Campbell told reporters. “I have no answer to that.”

With an intentional grounding penalty, the Bears would have faced fourth-and-23 at the Lions 48-yard line. That would have been an obvious punting situation instead of having the opportunity to try and get the Lions defense to jump offsides.

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