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Plays that shaped the season: No. 8

2/4/2015

We're taking a look at the top 10 plays that most shaped the Chicago Bears' season, which culminated in a disappointing 5-11 campaign and forced the organization to clean house.

Here’s No. 8:

Date: Sept. 28, 2014.

Location: Soldier Field.

Game: Chicago’s NFC North opener at home against the Green Bay Packers.

The play: Jay Cutler’s interception to Sam Shields.

Why it mattered: It provided one of the early glimpses of the dysfunction permeating the team under Marc Trestman. The late third-quarter interception, which wasn’t Cutler’s fault, marked his second of the day in a 38-17 loss to the Packers. This, after Cutler led Chicago to a 17-14 lead with 3:50 left before intermission during a first half in which he completed 15 of 21 passes for 173 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 127.7. Initially, Trestman blamed the interception on Brandon Marshall, saying the receiver “was supposed to run a hook route deep at 18 yards and he turned it into a go route.” That’s precisely what took place on the play. But a day later, the coach changed his tune.

“No. 1 is, we give Brandon and Jay opportunities -- and we’ve done this throughout the last two years -- where they’re communicating verbally or visually during the course of a game on changing routes,” Trestman said. “They had a communication error there. You can’t put it on any one person, and that wasn’t the case. What I said yesterday clearly was, the called play to Jay was a deep hook route, but they do have the flexibility to change that. Brandon ran a very good hook and go off a corner who was squatting on him. They just had a miscommunication -- the signal -- and they’ve done this countless times in the last couple years. This is one where there was a communication error between the two of them.”

We’d learn later in the season the true depth of dysfunction and lack of accountability miring the squad.

Quotable: "Obviously, you want it to be better,” Cutler said of his record against the Packers. “But there’s not much I can do about it. You’d like to cut down some of those turnovers. A couple of them are pretty stupid. The last one was unfortunate. You clean some of that up, and I’d be happy.”

Here's the list so far in reverse order:

No. 10: QB Jay Cutler's interception to Kyle Williams.

No. 9: Brandon Marshall’s one-handed touchdown catch against the 49ers.