Hey, John Fox: Beware NFL replay reviews

Yes, the NFL can take your challenge and shove it down your own throat -- as the Chicago Bears found out painfully on Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field.

It's right there, on page 65 in the NFL's 2017 rule book.

"All reviewable aspects of the play may be examined and are subject to reversal, even if not identified in a coach’s challenge or if not the specific reason for a replay official’s request for review."

Bears coach John Fox probably thought he was being aggressive. His team doesn't score a ton of points, and he wasn't satisfied with referee Tony Corrente's ruling that running back Benny Cunningham was down at the Green Bay Packers' two-yard line. He thought Cunningham might have scored and threw the challenge flag.

When the NFL's replay crew in its New York offices viewed the video, however, they saw the ball hitting the pylon and bouncing out of the end zone. I'm not sure if it was clear and obvious that the ball went loose before Cunningham was down. Neither was former NFL chief Dean Blandino, now a Fox analyst.

But that's what current senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron saw. And even though it wasn't part of the original challenge, Riveron reversed the ruling. Instead of a touchdown, or even the first-and-goal that it would have been had Fox not challenged it, the Packers were awarded the ball on a fumble that went out of the end zone for a touchback.

Again, I'm not certain if Cunningham's fumble was obvious. Clearly, Fox and his staff didn't consider it a possibility before the challenge. But if you want to describe a worse-case replay scenario -- seek a touchdown, get stuck with a turnover -- that one was it. May it serve as a word to the wise. Or something like that.