Marcus Cooper gaffe tips off wild sequence in Chicago

Bears cornerback Marcus Cooper, welcome to The Leon Lett Club.

In the final seconds of the first half of Sunday's matchup between the Bears and Steelers, Cooper corralled a blocked field goal attempt by Pittsburgh's Chris Boswell and began coasting toward the opposite end zone for a sure touchdown.

And if you know who Leon Lett is, you can guess what happened next. Cooper, unaware that Steelers players had not given up their pursuit of the play, slowed to a near stop at the 1-yard line and had the ball stripped by Pittsburgh tight end Vance McDonald. The ball dribbled into the end zone and went out of bounds.

The weirdness didn't end with Cooper's inexcusable mental lapse. After an initial review, officials announced that the half was over. Players from both teams jogged to the locker room as Bears coach John Fox vociferously argued that the play should have been ruled a safety. Officials huddled again before making the announcement that Boswell had illegally batted the ball out of the end zone and therefore, the ball would be placed at the 1-yard line for one untimed play.

This led to players from both teams now running out of their respective tunnels to get the play off. Fittingly, the Bears goofed again once action resumed, as tackle Charles Leno was whistled for a false start. Finally willing to accept their fate that they would never score a touchdown, Fox sent out his field-goal unit. Boswell converted the kick and both teams went to the locker rooms again with the Bears ahead 17-7. Chicago went out to win 23-17 in OT.

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