Bears coach Marc Trestman leaves the field following his team's 23-20… (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago…)
Leading up to the Bears' overtime field goal attempt Sunday, uber-accurate kicker Robbie Gould had made 157 of 166 kicks of 40 yards or fewer, good for an essentially automatic 94.6 percent. From 47 yards and out, he hit 31 of 49—only 63.3 percent.
These are stats that make sense to an average NFL fan, and they certainly should be known to the Bears' coaching staff. Those extra 7 yards represented a 30 percent increase in success, and the Bears had just driven 24 yards in five plays against a porous Vikings defense. Yet coach Marc Trestman elected to kick from 47 on second down. On second down!
Of course this happened in a game where Gould could've become the most accurate kicker in NFL history, hours after he hurried back to Minnesota to join the team after the birth of his child. Gould faced the media after the game nearly in tears, fully blaming himself for a loss where either of his two missed kicks would've won it for the Bears. Even after two missed kicks (the other was from 66, which would've been an NFL record), it wasn't on Gould.
It's tiring to be doing this week after week, isn't it? Another Sunday where we were patiently waiting for Trestman's explanation for yet another weird decision that we're supposed to assume is explainable only by using some erudite algorithm that only people who have played or coached pro football their entire life could understand.
63.3 percent versus 94.6 percent. Two downs to get those magic 7 yards, against a defense that was giving up yards in chunks.
Instead, it's 6-6 for the Bears, who have no shot at a wild card and thanks to their second loss to the Lions, almost no shot at the division title. Oh, and that second loss happened when everyone in Soldier Field could see Jay Cutler was too hurt to play—except Marc Trestman.
I was excited when Trestman was hired. His modern, analytical approach seemed to be a great direction for the Bears to take. Now I'm wondering if he's just out-thinking himself in the heat of game-day moments.
RedEye special contributor Alex Quigley can be heard on WGN Radio 720.
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