Just days ago, it looked as if the Chicago Bears had found their kicker after a lengthy, painful battle this summer.
Eddy Pineiro, who the Bears acquired from the Oakland Raiders in the wake of last year’s infamous double-doink, expertly drilled a 58-yard field goal in Chicago’s preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday night. Seemingly, it looked as if Pineiro was in place to become Chicago’s starting kicker this fall.
Yet after Thursday night, the Bears may be headed back to the drawing board.
Pineiro sailed an extra point wide left in the first quarter, totally missing his mark in their final preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at Soldier Field.
Just as Bears fans are feeling confident in Eddy Piñeiro, he shanks a extra point— Hogg (@HoggNFL) August 30, 2019
While no kicker is perfect, that one was rough — especially on the heels of a 58-yard bomb.
Now, the 23-year-old did redeem himself multiple times later in the night. Pineiro hit a 32-yard field goal at the end of the first quarter, a 39-yarder in the second quarter and then a 35-yarder in the third quarter to put the Bears up 15-9 with 15 minutes to play.
Bears coach Matt Nagy has gone through an extensive kicking search this offseason after Cody Parkey’s 43-yard miss in the final seconds of their wild-card game against the Philadelphia Eagles last season. At one point, Nagy even brought in eight kickers in front of the whole team and made them all kick a 43-yarder — many of which failed miserably.
Multiple kickers have expressed their frustration with Nagy and the Bears over how they’ve handled the search this summer, too, something he defended this week.
Regardless, Pineiro is the last man left kicking in Chicago — as the Bears waived Elliott Fry earlier this month.
Nagy didn’t commit to choosing Pineiro as his kicker this fall, but said after the game that he was happy with what he’s seen so far.
“We have fought through to this point right now,” Nagy said, via Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune. “I just like where he’s at. We’ll discuss it and decide is that the route we want to go. And if it is, then we just need to have a little bit of patience ... Hopefully he is somebody we end up going with and we stick with and he wins us games.”
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