Roy Williams: Dropped pass ‘was my fault’
by Mark Potash firstname.lastname@example.org December 4, 2011 10:44PM
Chiefs safety Jon McGraw (on turf) gathers in a pass that bounced off Roy Williams for an interception in the end zone. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 6, 2012 8:13AM
Wide receiver Roy Williams took the blame for the deflected pass that turned a game-tying touchdown into a deflating interception late in the fourth quarter Sunday.
On first-and-10 from the Chiefs’ 13-yard line with 4:10 to play and the Bears trailing 10-3, Caleb Hanie threw a pass to Williams — in traffic, but open — over the middle at the goal line. The ball bounced off Williams’ hands, was tipped by linebacker Derrick Johnson and caught by safety Jon McGraw just before it hit the ground in the end zone.
‘‘It was my fault. I’ve got to make those plays,’’ Williams said. ‘‘Did that lose the game? Nope. There were a lot of things that happened before that that [could have made a difference]. But in my mind, yes, it [did]. In the fans’ mind, yes, it [did].’’
As it turned out, it was the only time Hanie threw his way all day.
‘‘I didn’t see it until late because I had a linebacker right in my face,’’ Williams said. ‘‘So when I came around him, all I saw was the big brown thing in front of me, and I just tried to stop it.’’
How many times out of 10 does he make that catch?
‘‘I guess nine out of 10 now,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s not a tough play. It looks tough, but it’s not. I can make that play.’’
The Chiefs came into the game with an NFL-low 13 sacks in 11 games. But they had seven against the Bears, including six in the second half. Rookie linebacker Justin Houston (three sacks), Johnson (one), McGraw (one) and defensive end Tyson Jackson (one) had one sack among them coming into the game but combined for six Sunday.
‘‘They had a good game plan for us,’’ right guard Chris Spencer said. ‘‘They executed pretty well. We were ready for everything they had. We were prepared for it. We just didn’t get our job done.’’
The Bears had a first down at their 47 with 2:45 left, but Johnson and Tamba Hali sacked Hanie to put the Bears in a fourth-and-17 situation. Hanie’s incomplete pass to Earl Bennett all but clinched the game.
‘‘We just didn’t play well,’’ Bears center and captain Roberto Garza said. ‘‘They did a good job of coming after [Hanie], and we just didn’t stop it. They had a good night, and we didn’t block.’
Hanie lost another touchdown when a four-yard scoring pass to Marion Barber in the second quarter was nullified by an illegal-formation penalty. Barber lined up wide left and was uncovered by the Chiefs. But the Bears only had six players on the line of scrimmage. You need seven.
The Bears settled for Robbie Gould’s 32-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead.
‘‘It’s tough for me to say [what happened] because I don’t know,’’ tight end Matt Spaeth said. ‘‘But obviously it’s something we can’t do. You can’t beat yourself. That’s seven points we took off the board at a big time in the game.’’
The Bears rued several missed opportunities that could have made a difference.
On the Chiefs’ Hail Mary touchdown drive at the end of the second quarter, safety Craig Steltz forced a fumble on a 14-yard pass to Dwayne Bowe along the right sideline, but Bowe somehow recovered the ball while on his back and two or three players on top of him.
‘‘Me, Lance [Briggs] and Charles [Tillman] were all on top of him and somehow he was able to reach over and grab it,’’ Steltz said.
Besides Matt Forte’s sprained right knee, the Bears also lost safety Major Wright, who missed the second half with a shoulder injury. Steltz replaced him and led the Bears with 10 tackles.