With the Bears facing second-and-7 at the Vikings’ 29-yard line in overtime on Sunday, coach Marc Trestman sent out the field goal team to try to win right then and there. But the kick was no good, and the Vikings proceeded to march into field goal range themselves and win the game.
Unsurprisingly, Trestman is taking heat in Chicago for attempting a 47-yard field goal on second down, instead of keeping the offense on the field to try to get closer. Columns in both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times are taking Trestman to task for the blunder.
But Trestman claims it wasn’t a blunder: Trestman points out that the Vikings had previously had a field goal wiped off the board because of a facemasking penalty, and he was worried that his offense would commit a penalty, lose yardage or turn the ball over. Trestman thought the safe call would be to send kicker Robbie Gould out as soon as the Bears crossed the 30-yard line.
“There’s no guarantee that we would get any yards on second down, third down — there’s no guarantee of that,” Trestman said. “I just thought we were in range and let’s get it done. . . . We just didn’t get it done.”
Gould, who arrived in Minnesota early Sunday morning after being with his wife while she gave birth to their son overnight, said afterward that he agreed with his coach’s call and put the blame on himself for a loss that may turn out to cost the Bears the NFC North.
“I hate losing. There’s nothing good about it. That game could have cost us the playoffs and it’s on my shoulders,” Gould said.
It’s only partially on Gould’s shoulders. A lot of the blame also goes to Trestman.