The Carolina Panthers settled for — and missed — a deep field goal attempt to tie the game late Thursday against the Chicago Bears. Panthers head coach Frank Reich firmly stood by his decision.
The Panthers were trailing 16-13 against the Bears with less than two minutes remaining at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill.
Panthers quarterback Bryce Young was unable to complete a pass on third-and-10 with his team at the Bears’ 41. Instead of going for it, Reich opted to send out kicker Eddy Pineiro for a game-tying field goal attempt from long range.
Pineiro’s 59-yard field goal attempt kick fell short of the uprights.
— NFL (@NFL) November 10, 2023
Reich explained the decision to attempt a long field goal during the postgame press conference.
“That’s my call. I’ve seen us make 60-yarders in practice,” said Reich. “It felt like there was a little bit of a breeze at our back. If you just looked at the pure percentages, the pure percentage play is to kick it.”
Frank Reich says it was his call to kick a 59-yard FG despite there being mixed opinions on his staff. He believes a 4th-and-10 conversion has a 30% chance of success, while a 59-yard FG has a higher probability.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) November 10, 2023
The Panthers coach pointed to a 30% chance of converting a first down on 4th-and-10. He believes that odds of Pineiro connecting on a field goal from 59 yards out was higher than 30%.
But Pineiro, of all people, would know about the challenges of kicking at Soldier Field in November.
Pineiro was the Bears’ primary kicker during the 2019 season. He converted on a career-low 82.1% on field goals that season.
The Panthers kicker has never converted on a field goal longer than 56 yards in his career.
Most NFL kickers can probably convert 60-yard field goals during practice. But a 59-yarder with the game on the line in less-than-ideal field conditions is a different story.