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Why did Bears try long field goal?

Posted Nov 27, 2017

Senior writer Larry Mayer discusses why the Bears attempted a 54-yard field goal against the Eagles, a positive in the 31-3 loss and what will motivate players the rest of the season.



Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

Why did the Bears attempt a 54-yard field goal Sunday instead of keeping the offense on the field and trying to pick up a first down?

David F.
Terre Haute, Indiana

I think the two factors that led to that decision were that the offense was struggling and that the Bears felt it was a makeable kick for Cairo Santos. The situation you’re referring to occurred on fourth-and-four at the Eagles’ 36 late in the first quarter with Philadelphia leading 7-0. At that point, the Bears had yet to pick up a first down, and they finished the game converting just 3-of-13 third-down opportunities and were 0-of-2 on fourth down. Here’s what John Fox had to say about the decision to attempt a 54-yard field goal (that Santos missed short and wide to the right): “We were just trying to get points. I believe at that time I think it could have made it 7-3. We were within our range that we chart before games. I thought we were with the wind. Sure, an option would have been to go for it. But if you don’t succeed there, you don’t get points.”

Were there any positives in Sunday’s game against the Eagles? I didn’t see any at all.

John P.
Waukegan, Illinois

You certainly have to search long and hard for any silver linings in such a lopsided loss. But I’d say the one thing that impressed me was the two fumbles that safety Adrian Amos and nickel back Cre’Von LeBlanc forced by ripping the ball away from Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount. Both were very smart and opportunistic plays that show the emphasis on takeaways is paying off. Amos made a similar play late in a loss to the Saints about a month ago, while LeBlanc showed great hustle and closing speed on the fumble he caused Sunday.

With four straight losses and a 3-8 record, what possible motivation remains for Bears players over these final five games? I think they will be hard to watch.

Ryan K.
Muskegon, Michigan

Given that most NFL players are fierce competitors, the fact that the Bears got embarrassed in Philadelphia should provide plenty of motivation. I think quarterback Mitchell Trubisky spoke for a lot of his teammates when he said this after the game: “I don’t like losing, and that’s a big motivator for me. You just get that sick feeling from it. Hopefully a lot of those guys in the locker room feel the same way. It motivates us to go back to work and get better for this week. You go out there and get embarrassed, and you know you’re capable of better. So, hopefully we look within ourselves and get better for next week because I know we’re capable of playing better.”

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