Da-Doink! That is the sound from the kick heard around the NFL. Cody Parkey’s game-winning field goal attempt hit the left upright, then the crossbar, and finally the turf of a worn Soldier Field. The Chicago Bears (12-5) lost 16-15 to the visiting Eagles (10-7). A City and an Organization stunned…
Really though, these faces are best. pic.twitter.com/hm0vLH95lA
— Jerrold Reber (@ReberGetsReal) January 7, 2019
Never mind the kick was tipped at the line of scrimmage. Never mind Parkey’s 76.7% accuracy rating on the season. Never mind Robbie Gould led the league with a 97.1% mark. Never mind that EVERYONE knew if the game was on the line, there was a solid chance Parkey could blow it. Do not act surprised, shocked, flabbergasted, or any other superlative that one can plug in here. The fact is Parkey outscored Matt Nagy’s offense 9-6. He never should have been in this predicament in the first place.
Never mind witnessing Mitchell Trubisky grow up in the fourth quarter leading his team down the field putting them in position to win. Never mind the Bears only rushed the ball 18 total times. Never mind the league’s best defense only earned one sack. Never mind the referees made up a rule mid-game regarding a catch and fumble, a common sense call puts the Bears inside the 10. Never mind Nagy got a little cute calling an untimely two-point conversion attempt that failed, Philly’s final drive becomes moot. Never mind.
The fact is the Bears led throughout most of this game. They had the lead with about four minutes remaining in the game. They were in position to win. The best defense on the planet failed in a moment when they usually shine, the red zone at home. Philadelphia did a tremendous job up front at the point of attack. Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Leonard Floyd, and Eddie Goldman accumulated 17 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, but only one sack. It just wasn’t enough.
The national narrative will read something like this, “Nick Foles does it again.” Or something along those lines. But did he? He had two touchdowns and two interceptions. He was landing floaters. Those floaters become picks if All-Pro Eddie Jackson was able to roam the back end. Yes, Foles made some timely throws and threw what turned out to be the winning touchdown. But there was no magic, the Bears won the turnover battle at home and lost.
Just like that, a 12-win season disappears in the blink of an eye. It wasn’t all in vain. They lost five times this season by a total 15 points. The margin for error in the NFL is as slim as hitting the uprights. Chicago is in great shape moving forward but this one should sting for a while and that is a good thing. This organization made tremendous strides while shattering all expectations this season.
“I looked around in that locker room at the end and I looked at every one of them and it reminded me of Week 1 in Green Bay because they gave it their all, and you learn from these things,” Nagy told Adam Hoge of WGN Radio, referencing what previously had been his team’s toughest loss of the season. “We can’t see it right now, but I guarantee you that feeling we just had in that locker room is going to help us in the future.”
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 7, 2019
It was an amazing ride and the future looks brighter than ever. Man, I love #DaBears.
Until then, stay thirsty and Bear Down! JT out.