As we’ve seen many times before, NFL coaches don’t much like it when you question their decision-making.
But when your team came into the season with Super Bowl hopes and is struggling at .500 and has had several brutal missed kicks in recent years and you need your kicker to make a kick to get a win and you don’t do everything possible to make that kick easier and then the kicker misses that kick, you’re going to be questioned.
Them’s the rules. We didn’t make ‘em.
Bears kicker Eddy Pineiro goes wide left
The Bears got the ball with 1:45 left in the fourth quarter, trailing 17-16, and with one timeout left.
Chicago crossed midfield on second down, thanks to a 22-yard Mitchell Trubisky-to-Taylor Gabriel pass, and picked up 22 more yards on three plays, putting the offense at the Chargers’ 21 with 43 seconds to play and still with their final timeout.
Instead of trying something — anything — to help kicker Eddy Pineiro, who’d already missed from 33 yards earlier in the game, head coach Matt Nagy had Trubisky take a knee, pushing Chicago back a yard and making Pineiro’s attempt a 41-yard try.
He missed, wide left.
Bears coach Matt Nagy: ‘I had zero thought’
After the game, Nagy was of course asked why he didn’t try a play or two that might have gained a few yards, which in theory would have made Pineiro’s kick easier.
“I’m not even going to get into that,” Nagy said. “I had zero thought of running the ball and not kicking it. The chance of fumbling the football, or they know you’re running the football, so you lose 3, 4 yards. That wasn’t even in our process as coaches to think about that.”
And passing was out of the question too.
“Throw the football?” Nagy said. “What happens if you take a sack and you fumble? There was zero thought of that. I’ll just be brutally clear: Zero thought of running the football, zero thought of throwing the football. You understand me?”
We all make choices.
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