The Chicago Bears kicking woes continued on Sunday, with a potential game-winning field goal sailing wide as the team lost at home to the Los Angeles Chargers.
After an offseason spent obsessing over the "double-doink" that knocked them out of the playoffs, the Bears thought they had finally fixed their fatal flaw after signing kicker Eddy Pineiro, who in Week 2 hit a game-winning field goal in the final seconds to beat the Denver Broncos. But on Sunday, the Bears kicking problems presented themselves once again.
Trailing the Chargers 17-16 with just 93 seconds remaining in the game, Chicago got the ball back at their own 35-yard line needing to drive down for a game-winning field goal attempt. With a big completion to Allen Robinson and an impressive scramble by Mitch Trubisky, the Bears were able to get themselves in range, reaching the Chargers 20-yard line with 53 seconds left in the game.
But rather than continue to run the ball closer, hopefully setting up for an easier field goal attempt, Bears head coach Matt Nagy decided the team was fine where it was, instructed Trubisky to kneel the ball down to drain the clock to just four seconds before calling the team's final timeout.
Win or lose, Pineiro's field goal attempt would be the last play of the game. Let's see how that turned out.
—Eric Rosenthal (@ericsports) October 27, 2019
After the miss, Nagy was immediately called out on Twitter for his decision to stand pat rather than rushing on a few more plays to set up an easier attempt and put his kicker in a better position to succeed.
—Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) October 27, 2019
—Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) October 27, 2019
—Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) October 27, 2019
—Bear Soldier (@BearSoldier13) October 27, 2019
—nick wright (@getnickwright) October 27, 2019
After the game, Nagy said that the thought of running the ball for another play or two never even crossed his mind.
"Yeah, I'm not even going to get into that," Nagy said during his post-game presser. "I have zero thought of running the ball and taking the chance of fumbling the football. They know you're running the football, so you lose three, four yards, so that wasn't even in our process as coaches to think about that."
"I'll just be brutally clear: Zero thought of throwing the football, zero thought of running the football. You understand me? That's exactly what it was. It's as simple as that."
With the loss, the Bears fall to 3-4 on the season and sit in last place in the NFC North — a disappointing fall from their 12-4, division-winning season a year ago. Chicago will hope to turn things around next week against the Philadelphia Eagles.