Chicago Bears: 3 Observations from Week 11 loss to Rams

Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images /
2 of 4
Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images
Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images /

The kicking woes come back

After Cody Parkey‘s double-doink in last season’s playoff game, the Chicago Bears brought in a small village of kickers to find a proper replacement. After some ups and downs, the team decided on keeping Eddy Pineiro. Pineiro was with the Oakland Raiders last season but ended up on injured reserve and didn’t play.

Things started out well for Pineiro. In Week 2 he made a 52-yard field goal as time expired in Denver to beat the Broncos. He was flying high and it seemed like the Bears made the right choice.

More from NFL Spin Zone

Pineiro missed a field goal attempt in Week 3 but that was due to him spraining his knee. Despite that, he still hit five consecutive attempts. Then, in Week 8 against the Los Angeles Chargers, the chinks in his armor became visible. He missed two field goals, including the possible game-winner. He did hit three attempts in that game, though.

It wasn’t until three weeks later, in the Bears’ Week 11 game, when Pineiro had a chance to make another attempt. It didn’t go well. He missed not one but two attempts, both in the first quarter. He could’ve had another attempt before the second miss but Nagy decided to go for it on a fourth-and-nine from the Rams’ 31-yard line.

Perhaps the lay off had something to do with Pineiro’s inaccuracy. This season, he hasn’t been taking a lot of field goal attempts. He has 17 attempts this season and 29 percent of them came in that Chargers game. The offense hasn’t been able to get into a position to give Pineiro a chance to attempt a field goal. You can kick all you want in practice but it’s completely different when you’re in a game situation.

Another thing to be aware of is the mental aspect of the game. When Pineiro hit that big game-winner in Denver everything was right. After he had that bad game against the Chargers he suddenly hasn’t made another kick. He’s missed three consecutive kicks and five of his last seven.

Pineiro has the leg to be successful. It appears he still needs the mental makeup to be successful. The Bears need to decide this offseason if they can do something about the mental side of the game for him, or go after a veteran kicker who is already proven. If the offense gets fixed in the offseason, it is imperative that the kicking game is on point.

Every season there are a few games decided by the kicker. The Bears have to be on the winning end of those games.