DETROIT -- I've never heard Ford Field louder than it was Monday night. But was it loud enough to induce nine false starts on its own? I don't think so, and neither should the Chicago Bears.
Yes, the Bears jumped offside nine times on offense or special teams in Monday night's 24-13 loss to the Detroit Lions. But the Bears play annually at the Metrodome and have already played at the Superdome this season. This was not their first rodeo. Quite frankly, they should be better at handling crowd noise.
"We were working against a loud crowd on the road and all of that," coach Lovie Smith said. "But we can't use that as an excuse. [We’ve] got to be able to sit in there. Kind of simple as that. Pre-snap penalties kill you. First and-15, first-and-20, it's had to overcome those. Again, it's the discipline part of the position, some of it."
Bears left tackle J'Marcus Webb jumped three times, according to the official gamebook. Tight end Kellen Davis jumped twice. Left guard Chris Williams, right tackle Frank Omiyale, tailback Matt Forte and safety Chris Conte were also flagged.
The Lions' defensive line had something to do with it, of course. Veteran defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch induced one from Webb simply by darting around the line of scrimmage in the third quarter. And it wasn't like the Lions were bringing additional players close to the line of scrimmage. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Lions brought four or less pass rushers on 90.5 percent of quarterback Jay Cutler's dropbacks.
Cutler said the Bears moved from a regular count to a silent count early in the game.
"The pressure they were putting on our offensive line with our defensive line, I think that started to accumulate a little bit," Cutler said. "Guys started wanting to get out of there a little bit quicker. The crowd noise, you know, there's a lot of things that happened. But at the end of the day, it can't happen. We practice that. We bring speakers out on our field, so this isn't anything new to us. We've played in loud situations before."