There’s no better evidence of the culture that coach Matt Nagy has created with the Bears than what transpired after Cody Parkey missed a potential game-winning field goal late in Sunday’s 16-15 wild-card loss to the Eagles.
The kicker’s teammates provided unwavering support after his 43-yard attempt hit the left upright and the crossbar before bouncing back onto the field with :05 remaining.
“That’s our guy,” said defensive tackle Akiem Hicks. “I’m going to ride with my guy. If you have that ‘C’ on your helmet, I’m going to ride with you to the end. I don’t care what happens on the field. We are together, that’s it.”
Guard Kyle Long was among those who consoled Parkey, who made his first three field-goal tries from 36, 29 and 34 yards before the last-second miss.
“I just told him, ‘Dude, you had half our points today,’” Long said. “I can’t even imagine what he’s going through. It’s a tough job, it’s a really tough job. I just wanted to make sure he understood that we all had his back and I think every guy in here did the same thing I did. I feel for Cody. At the end of the day, it’s a team thing. We lost as a team. We win as a team. we lose as a team. We could have done better in a lot of areas.”
Remarkably, the kick was the sixth one this season that Parkey missed by hitting an upright. He hit an upright four times on two field goals and two extra points in a Week 10 win over the Lions and hit another upright in a Week 17 victory over the Vikings.
On Monday, the NFL confirmed that Parkey’s last-second attempt Sunday was deflected by Eagles defensive lineman Treyvon Hester.
Regardless, Bears players knew that they failed to capitalize on several other opportunities to win the game. The offense mustered just one touchdown and the defense allowed one TD pass with 10 men on the field and a second that capped a 60-yard drive and gave the Eagles a 16-15 lead with :54 remaining.
“We win and lose as a team and really as a family,” said quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. “There's never one play that decides the game. There's a lot of things we could have done throughout as an offense, as a defense, as a special teams to make the game go our way. We had a chance at the end and the last play didn't go our way, but it doesn't define the game.
“I'm proud of the way we played and the way we battled, but I mean, we stick together. We're a family. When everything is going good and you win, it feels awesome. But when things don't go your way and you lose, you have to deal with that as well.
“It's not the way we wanted it, but that's the reality, and just because something goes wrong doesn't mean we break apart and we don't stick together. That's not who we are, that's not the kind of culture we built in that locker room. We just come together even tighter and make sure it makes us better for the future.”