The Chicago Bears lost another winnable game on Sunday night when they fell to the Los Angeles Rams,17-7. Despite another poor performance, the Bears won’t look to make a change at kicker this week.
The Chicago Bears saw their playoff chances take a major hit on Sunday night after a 17-7 road loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Now at 4-6 and out of the Wild Card hunt, the Bears would need a major miracle to make the postseason.
While this disappointing season may be lost, the Bears can still make roster decisions for next season based on what they see the rest of this year. All eyes are on quarterback Mitch Trubisky after he was benched late in Sunday’s game due to a supposed hip injury.
While that may be the personnel move Bears fans are focused on this week, it’s not the first change they should make in my opinion. It’s clear after another embarrassing loss on primetime TV that this team needs to make a change at kicker.
I know that there are a lot bigger problems with the Bears other than just first-year kicker Eddy Pineiro. But it’s getting too difficult to ignore Pineiro’s struggles over the last several weeks, and on Sunday it looked like the coaches lost confidence in his ability.
I’m not sure why Bears coach Matt Nagy is so confident in Pineiro as he continues to miss big kicks, but it’s clear he wants to continue to use the first-year kicker. During his post-game press conference, Nagy directly said the team won’t work out any kickers this week.
This is a dumb decision by a coach who’s sophomore season has been a lot more difficult than his NFL Coach of the Year rookie season. It’s a good thing to stay positive, but Nagy is now bordering on delusional by thinking nothing is wrong.
Pineiro missed two long field goals in the first half. Yes, they were tough kicks; both were just under 50-yard attempts. However, Pineiro needs to prove he’s not just a one-hit-wonder going back to his kick earlier this year to defeat the Denver Broncos.
He’s missed big kicks in three consecutive games, including a potential game-winner in week seven against the Los Angeles Chargers. He missed an extra point last week against the Detroit Lions that almost came back to haunt the Bears late in the game.
After Pineiro missed a 48-yard kick in the first quarter, the Bears faced a 4th and 9 at the Rams’ 31-yard line on their next possession. Instead of trying another 48-yard attempt, Nagy elected to throw the ball.
The pass was incomplete and the result was a turnover on downs. That decision may seem like Nagy lacks confidence in Pineiro. Apparently though, Pineiro won’t be challenged for now despite his poor performance.
Even if Nagy thinks it’s the wrong move, the Bears need to bring in a couple of free-agent kickers this week for tryouts. It may knock Pineiro’s confidence, but he has to know that he’s got to be better for this team.
There isn’t a lot of talent out there, but one name that could be interesting is former Atlanta Falcons kicker Matt Bryant. Bryant is 44 and was cut by the Falcons earlier this season, but he’s worth a look at least. The guy Pineiro beat for his job (Elliott Fry) is also available.
Nagy may have his mind made up on sticking with Pineiro, but it’s a shortsighted decision. It makes no sense to at least take a look at other players now that this season’s focus has shifted. Nagy is making yet another mistake this year by not exploring other options.