CHICAGO — Kicker Cody Parkey expressed disbelief Sunday that his missed game-winning 43-yard field goal in the Chicago Bears‘ playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles hit the left upright and bounced off the crossbar.
“You can’t make this up,” Parkey said. “I feel terrible. I let the team down. That’s on me. I have to own it. I have to be a man. Unfortunately, that’s the way it went today.”
The manner in which he missed the last-second kick hit too close to home for Parkey, who endured criticism earlier in the year when he bounced four separate kicks off the uprights in a Week 10 victory over the Lions.
The Bears were not so fortunate to escape with a win this time, falling to Philadelphia 16-15.
“I thought I hit a great ball and was trying to play the wind,” Parkey said. “There’s really no answer to it. I didn’t make it. I take that loss on me. The sun is going to shine tomorrow, but unfortunately this one is going to sting for a while.”
Slow-motion replay shows that Parkey’s kick appears to be tipped at the line of scrimmage. The Eagles’ Treyvon Hester told The Athletic that he got his hand on the ball.
Parkey made his first three field goal attempts on Sunday.
The veteran kicker had a trying first season in Chicago. The Bears signed Parker, formerly of the Eagles, Browns and Dolphins, to a four-year deal in free agency that included $9 million in guaranteed money, but Parkey ended up missing 11 total kicks on the year (eight field goals, three extra points).
Parkey was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week the week after his dreadful game versus the Lions, and he converted 13 of his last 14 field goal attempts prior to Sunday’s late miss.
“It’s hard,” Bears head coach Matt Nagy said. “It’s a difficult deal. I don’t think you can write this story with how things went for him this year, how he rebounded. And then for that to happen, it’s tough.”
Chicago has been unable to stabilize its kicker situation since the club released Robbie Gould, the franchise’s all-time leading scorer, prior to the 2016 season. Gould, who is 82-of-85 in field goal attempts since leaving the Bears, attended Sunday’s playoff loss as a fan.
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