CHICAGO (CBS) — That was painful. And you could see it on the Bears’ faces after Cody Parkey missed what would have been a game-winning field goal against the Eagles in the NFC playoffs, the ball bouncing off the left upright and the crossbar.
It was the seventh time this year Parkey has missed a kick by hitting the pipes, and if you couldn’t believe it, clearly the Bears couldn’t either. Just look at coach Matt Nagy’s reaction on the sidelines, as the NBC cameras caught him staring with his jaw dropped.
“It’s hard. It’s a difficult deal. I don’t think you could write that story, you know, just with how things went this year, and how he rebounded, and then for that to happen. It’s tough,” Nagy said after the game.
Parkey, who hit the uprights four times in a row in a November game against the Lions, made no excuses for his miss after the Bears were eliminated from the playoffs in a 16-15 loss to the Eagles at Soldier Field.
“I can’t make this up. I hit the post, what, six times this year, and I hit it twice on that one,” he said. “You can’t make this up. I feel terrible, let the team down, that’s on me. I have to own it. I have to be a man. Unfortunately, that’s the way it went today.”
Parkey said he didn’t know what went wrong on the kick, other than he missed.
“I thought I hit a great ball and was trying to play the wind,” Parkey said. “There’s really no answer to it. I didn’t make it. I a hundred percent take that loss on me, and it is what it is, but the sun’s going to shine tomorrow, life’s going to go on, and unfortunately it’s going to sting for a while.”
If there’s any consolation for Parkey, it appears Eagles defensive tackle Treyvon Hester tipped the ball as it sailed over the line of scrimmage. A slow-motion replay tweeted by ESPN appears to show Hester’s fingertips deflecting the kick.
Hester also told reporters after the game that he got a hand on the ball.
Parkey’s teammates defended him after the game, pointing out he had nine of the team’s 15 points.
“I just told him, I said, ‘Dude, you had like half our points today,’” right guard Kyle Long said. “I can’t even imagine what he’s going through. It’s a tough job. It’s a really tough job, and I just wanted to make sure he understood that we all had his back. You know, I think every single guy in here did the same thing that I did.”
Although Parkey took the blame for the Bears’ gut-wrenching loss, Long said the rest of the team shares the blame.
“At the end of the day, it’s a team thing. I mean, we lost as a team. We win as a team, we lose as a team. So we could have done better in a lot of areas,” Long said.
Nagy said he’s confident the Bears will use the loss as motivation heading into 2019, just as they used their season-opening loss to the Packers to help motivate them to a 12-4 season, and the NFC North title in 2018.
“We can’t see it right now, but I guarantee you that feeling we just had in that locker room’s going to help us in the future,” Nagy said.