CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — Kicker Eddy Pineiro missed a 41-yard field goal as time expired and the Bears suffered a brutal loss to Los Angeles Chargers 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.
This was the first time Pineiro doinked on a field goal attempt as a member of the Bears.
But the subject is a sore one for Bears fans. Last season, of course, ended with a double-doinked failed field goal.
As Chicago sports fans not-so-fondly remember, the Bears were poised to win a single-game NFC wildcard playoff with a field goal by kicker Cody Parkey. But Parkey’s 43-yard field goal attempt bounced off the left upright and crossbar of the goalpost, and the Bears lost the game 16-15.
Parkey was released from his contract with the Bears in March.
As CBS 2’s Matt Zahn reported, Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan said there won’t be any finger-pointing in the loss – but there are certainly plenty of places to place the blame.
As Zahn reported, Head Coach Matt Nagy displayed questionable play calling in the red zone in the first half, when the Bears got there four times and couldn’t get a touchdown.
There was also the decision to take a knee with 45 seconds left, setting up Pineiro for the long field goal that he missed.
Nagy tried to back up both the decisions after the game, and none of the players had anything to say about it.
“I’ll just be brutally clear – zero thought of throwing the football, zero thought of running the football, you understand me? That’s exactly what it was,” Nagy said. “We felt confident that we were going to make that kick. We didn’t, and now we don’t dwell on it. We’re moving forward.
Pineiro said he felt like he kicked the ball well, but it simply didn’t go through for him.
Meanwhile, Trubisky had a couple of key second-half turnovers as he tried to make a comeback, and didn’t do well on the final drive.
In the play that ended up winning the game for the Chargers, 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 the Bears’ 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 Trevathan before crossing the goal line.
Chargers: The Chargers were without starting DLs Brandon Mebane (knee) and Justin Jones (shoulder).
Bears: LB Isaiah Irving left in the second quarter with a quad injury.
Chargers: Host Green Bay next Sunday.
Bears: Visit Philadelphia next Sunday.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)