Bears kicker Eddy Piñeiro has been named NFC special teams player of the week following his performance in last Sunday’s 16-14 win over the Broncos in Denver.
Piñeiro made all three field goals he attempted, including a game-winning 53-yarder as time expired that turned what would have been a devastating loss into a thrilling comeback victory.
“It means everything,” Piñeiro said after the game. “I’ve been working my butt off. All the stuff that I’ve been through, the ‘Augusta silence,’ the kickers getting cut left and right, all the crazy things going on. It was a pretty cool moment to have this opportunity.”
Piñeiro’s first two field goals were from 40 and 52 yards. His 53-yarder was the longest game-winner by a Bears kicker since Paul Edinger’s 54-yarder in the 2000 season finale resulted in a 23-20 victory over the Lions in Detroit.
Piñeiro also became the first Bears kicker to make two field goals of at least 50 yards in a game since Nov. 27, 2011 when Robbie Gould connected from 50 and 53 yards in a 25-20 loss to the Raiders in Oakland.
Piñeiro told reporters that during the final moments he was hoping to get an opportunity to win the game with a field goal.
“A credit to him for having that mentality and that confidence,” coach Matt Nagy said Monday night during the Bears Coaches Show on WBBM Newsradio 780 AM and 105.9 FM. “We talk about ‘visualize to actualize.’ And so we try to crave pressure and create pressure, and everything that he has done during this offseason working up to this point, you try to make it a little easier for him when he gets to that moment, and that’s what happened.
“It was a great hold by Pat [O’Donnell] and then you’ve got to make that kick. You’ve got to snap, you’ve got to block, you’ve got to do everything, and I’ll tell you what, that thing wasn’t just good from there, that thing was going to be good from 60.”