Bears Coach Matt Nagy Discusses Eddy Pineiro's Missed Field Goal, Bears Record

Josh Liss
October 28, 2019 - 8:56 am
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO/AP) -- Chicago kicker Eddy Pineiro missed a 41-yard field goal as time expired and the Los Angeles Chargers hung on to beat Chicago, 17-16, on Sunday.

The Bears (3-4) took over at their 35 with 1:33 remaining and had a chance to win it after driving all the way to the 21. Chicago had quarterback Mitchell Trubisky take a knee with about 40 seconds left rather than try to get closer to the goal line. And Pineiro, who hit an upright on a miss earlier, hooked the potential winner wide left as time expired.

That allowed the Chargers (3-5) to snap a three-game losing streak and avoid their first 0-4 October since 2000, while the Bears dropped their third in a row. Los Angeles also picked up its first victory in seven road games all-time against Chicago and its first win at Soldier Field after losing four.

Philip Rivers threw an 11-yard touchdown to Austin Ekeler in the fourth quarter for the go-ahead touchdown with just over eight minutes left in the game after Melvin Ingram recovered a fumble by Trubisky in Chicago territory. Rivers was 19-of-29 for 201 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Melvin Gordon ran for a score. Joey Bosa had two sacks, and the Chargers picked up their first victory since a win at Miami on Sept. 29.

Rookie David Montgomery ran for a career-high 135 yards and one touchdown, after Chicago set a franchise low with seven rushing attempts the previous week against New Orleans.

Trubisky completed 23 of 35 passes for 253 yards an interception. But the Bears came away with just one touchdown and three field goals in five trips inside the 20.

Montgomery capped a 75-yard touchdown drive to start the second half when he ran it in from the 4 following a 31-yard reception by Allen Robinson, stretching Chicago's lead to 16-7. The Chargers then drove to the 2, but settled for a 20-yard field goal by Chase McLaughlin after Ekeler got stopped on third down.

They missed another huge opportunity after Casey Hayward Jr. returned an interception 37 yards to the 20 early in the fourth. Keenan Allen dropped a 24-yard pass in the end zone on third down and Chase McLaughlin missed the field goal.

But Trubisky gave it right back, losing a fumble that Ingram — back after missing three games with a hamstring injury — recovered for Los Angeles. The Chargers took over on the Bears' 26, and grabbed a 17-16 lead on the touchdown catch by Ekeler, who ducked under Danny Trevathan before crossing the goal line.

WBBM Newsradio’s Josh Liss spoke with Bears coach Matt Nagy on Monday morning following the Bear's loss over the Chargers.

WBBM: If only the kick goes through, we are having a different conversation today aren't we.

"Yeah, it is. It will be different, it's an unfortunate deal that that occurred, but we have ultimate trust in him and just going back and watching the tape, we really, all three phases, did so well," Nagy said. "Just in the red zone, we didn't do what we needed to do. We had a lot of opportunities, just did not make it happen, so that's the big deal there, and then losing the turnover battle also hurt us."

WBBM: Sure, lots of places to pick it apart. We will just go through a few things here. What have you seen with the Pineiro miss? Anything else happen on that play other than the wind seemingly grabbing the ball?

"No, no it's just one of those deals where it seemed like he struck it well, it just faded left on him," Nagy said. "Again, we would love to be in a position where it does not come down to that, but that's the NFL. That's where we are at. There were some other games yesterday where the same thing happened where it comes down to a field goal and either you make it or your don't, but the one thing with our team and our family is that we are just here for one another, we know that we got each other and we support each other. So the next time we get out that and we have that opportunity, he's going to nail it."

WBBM: Are you better than 3-4? Are the Bears better than their record?

"That's a great question. I really feel like we are, but like they say, you are what your record says you are and right now we are 3-4 and we have had some challenging times," Nagy said. "I think the big negative of this year has been - and when I say negative I mean just a place we can improve - is on the offensive side of the ball. I though yesterday, just going back and watching the tape, to have 38 minutes versus 22 minutes time of possession, they only had 45 plays on offense and they had a bunch of 3 and outs. We really felt like we controlled that game from start to finish. We need to be better in the red zone, we weren't as good as we needed to be - we know that, we got to protect the football, but we do feel like we have a good team. We need to stick together and that's all we can do - control what we can control."

WBBM: I feel the positives trying to come out of you there, but you mentioned the dozen goal to goal plays in the first half equaling just nine points, you want to ring more out of that. You had commitment to the running game there, 135 and a score from David Montgomery. So how are you liking the running game now, and what you may have learned yesterday as far as being able to use it as a true weapon moving forward?

"Right, yeah, no doubt. We do need to keep that going. That was a shining point of yesterday. I thought the guys really stepped up, they took it as a challenge, and they made it happen. Really it wasn't even the read zone, it was the first and goal. We had four possessions, three of them at the 40-yard line - first and goal at the 4 - and one first and goal at the 9 and we got to be better there, so that's going to be a big time focus as a staff, so that when we do get back down there, we get touchdowns," Nagy said. "When you get touchdowns in this league, you win games, you get field goals, you put yourself in the situation we put ourselves in."

WBBM: What's your take on not running another play there before the winning field goal attempt? What was your idea of risk-reward in that situation?

"Yeah again, just like I said last night, we just had a nice 11-yard game. We were already in field goal range before that, and then we wanted to get more yards to get closer, and then Mitch had a hell of a scramble to get 11-yards to put us into a position to make a 40-yard field goal, so there's just a lot of things that could happen. You could have a holding penalty if you call a run. If you throw the ball, you could have a sack. Of course, you could fumble a snap, you could fumble a handoff. There's a lot of negatives that I felt at that point, just at the 40-yard field goal that we had total confidence that he would make that, so I said it last night, I don't look back on it, I don't regret it and I feel very strongly about that," Nagy said.

The Bears travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles on Sunday at noon for Week 9.

Listen weekly for more from the Bears Coaches Show at 7 p.m. on Mondays.