Chicago Bears fans questioning why head coach Matt Nagy opted not to try to get the ball further into field goal range before Eddy Piñeiro missed a game-winning kick attempt got a direct answer from the coach following the team’s 17-16 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
Nagy, whose Bears are now 3-4 after three consecutive losses, was blunt in his postgame press conference, saying that he had “zero thought” of trying to move the ball any closer for Piñeiro, whose 41-yard field goal kick sailed wide left and left the Bears on the losing end of the scoreboard.
“I had zero thought of running the ball and taking the chance of fumbling the football,” he said. “They know you’re running the football, so you lose three or four yards. That’s not even in our thought process as coaches to think about that. We were in field goal range before the scramble, so that didn’t even cross my mind.”
Leading up to that final decision, the Bears had been moving the ball up field, with Mitchell Trubisky finding Taylor Gabriel and Allen Robinson for a pair of completions to get the team within field goal range.
After an 11-yard Trubisky scramble, the Chargers called their final timeout with 43 seconds remaining on the clock. With the ball on the Chargers’ 21-yard line, the Bears opted to have Trubisky take a knee, allowing the clock to run down to four seconds remaining before calling their final timeout.
After Piñeiro missed his final kick, Nagy was also asked if he had considered dropping Trubisky back for a pass, and he scoffed before rejecting the idea.
“What happens if you take a sack or fumble the ball?” he asked reporters. “(I had) zero thought of throwing the football. Zero thought of running the football.”
With the loss, the Bears are now below .500 and are heading into a Week 9 showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles that will mark the halfway point of their season. They are currently in last place in the NFC North, and are in danger of missing the postseason after going 12-4 and winning the division crown last season.