Anyone using traditional technical analysis over the past 9 months or so to predict bearish patterns have, for the most part, been sorely wrong. Quint over at tickerville has a name for this: bearish patterns turned bullish breaks-- it's when a pattern which should breakdown only starts a downtrend for a short period of time and then we see momentum quickly reverse to the upside.
I like Q's name, but I prefer the "get some people short and then rip their faces off" trade.
Needless to say, until we stop seeing these sharp reversals, I will remain very hesitant to play simple breakdowns.
Let's take a look at some examples. I will do a "before" picture and then an "after" with the result: