Marc Trestman takes heat for missed field goal on second down

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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.

62 responses to “Marc Trestman takes heat for missed field goal on second down

  1. Here’s a thought…If our damn defense didn’t allow the Vikings to convert 4th.-and-11 from their own 8-yard-line, the Bears win 20-17 in regulation.

  2. It was the right call and if he’d waited and something did go wrong, he’d get blasted for not kicking sooner. That’s usually automatic for Gould. Both teams did all they could to give that game away.

  3. Coach “I wanted to kick on second down in that situation because if you wait til 3rd and theres a bad snap then the other team gets the ball”

    Reporter- “This is the NFL, you get 4 downs”

    Coach- ” Oh …good to know”

  4. So Trestman simply didn’t have faith his offense wouldn’t screw up for one play and simply not lose yardage or cough up the ball.

  5. he was worried that his offense would commit a penalty, lose yardage or turn the ball over.

    For someone who was called “one of the most innovative offensive minds in football” prior to the start of the year he’s sure not showing a lot of faith in himself or his offense which have been penalized a lot the last few games.

  6. Nice job on people playing the result:

    If he makes it, it’s an amazing call and aggressive coaching..blah blah blah

    Since h missed it, should’ve ran it more, milked the clock..blah blah blah.

    Nothing like having the result of a game in front of you and begin to criticize. Marc has had his mistakes this year but he’s a rookie HC. That stuff can be taught.

    Anyone who can turn McCown in to a viable starter is a great HC in any book. That can’t be taught.

  7. I can’t believe Trestman is taking any blame for that. That was the 100% the right call. He’s completely accurate about the fact there coulda been penalties or a turnover if they ran another down. There is no excuse for a kicker missing a field goal from that close. Its completely on Robbie Gould.

  8. I’m a Bears fan, and so far a Trestman fan….but 100 percent the wrong decision. You don’t kick from nearly 50 yards on 2nd down. It’s not a hindsight thing, it was just a bad decision. Forte averaging 5 per rush. McCown with 1 INT in 3.5 games… get inside 40 yards then kick on any down.

    Wrong decision this time hopefully he learns from it.

  9. How about the last 2 series at the end of the fourth where all you did was call run plays while Jeffery’s was having monster game.

  10. Plenty of blame to go around. Most on Gould missing field goal. Next most on defense giving up 243 yards to Cassel.

  11. Let’s be real. The Vikings are a 2-win team; the Bears were looking to tie the Lions for 1st place. When in a position to win the division, you play aggressively.

    The Bears play calling in the 4th quarter got conservative. When they had a chance to put their foot to the throat of their opponent on a 4th and 1 with 3:40 to go in Vikings territory, they chose to punt instead of going for it. You don’t punt in these situations.

    To make matters worse, as a coach, you have to acknowledge your defense stinks and the Vikings, down by only 3, have one of the better kickers in the game. And you have a mobile quarterback. Why was this, of all the decisions, hard to make?

    IMO, Trestman has been making poor decisions at key moments throughout the year. This is just another example. If this keeps up, his tenure will be a mirror image of Dick Jauron’s. Nice guy – poor head coach.

  12. Normally, I would agree with the article, and disagree with the coach, but not this time.

    That is the first time I can recall Robbie Gould missing a kick from inside 50 yards. The guy is Mr. automatic. I was shocked when that kick sailed wide right.

    Honestly, if I were Trestman, I’d be a lot madder at my defense for giving up a 4th and 11 from the Viking eight yard line. They stop the Vikings there, and the game is over.

  13. You kick on 3rd down. This is football, not rocket science, and when you overthink this stuff, losing happens.

    On second down you run your safest, best guy – that would be Forte – and try to get a few yards.

    A 47 yard attempt can be made but a 44 or 43 yard kick is a higher percentage shot. He screwed up.

  14. The sad part is that if McCown had the defense Jay had early on, Da Bears would be a formidable player in the superbowl race. That kid stepped up really good lately.

  15. Coaches continue to put their kickers in bad situations at the end of games. 40+ yards is not a chip shot. Stop running for minus 5 yards to set up a long field goal and get another first down or two.

  16. Newsflash: Even good kickers miss long kicks.

    This was a stupid decision. Take a play (or two!) and try and make it easier on your kicker. It speaks very poorly of your team if you think they can’t get through 1-2 more plays without committing a penalty that would make the field goal harder. Chances are if this kick were even one yard closer, it would have been good.

  17. Earlier in the broadcast, the FOX announcers were making the case for Gould as the best kicker ever in the history of the NFL. Given that knowledge, anyone would have made that call no matter where the ball was.

  18. That was the correct call. Everybody blasting the coach is simply basing their criticism on 20/20 hindsight. Gould makes that FG better than 90% of the time.

  19. Conversely, if the Vikings hadn’t waited until 3rd down to attempt their very make-able kick, they would have had 3 downs to try to make back the 15 yards lost on the facemask call. Hindsight is 20/20. Criticizing a coach for using literally the most accurate kicker in history, in a controlled environment, rather than trusting a back up QB, is ludicrous.

  20. “I didn’t want to, at that point, risk a possible penalty that would set us back, or a fumble or something unique. There’s no guarantee that we would get any yards on second down or third down”

    If that is your offensive philosophy then why not kick the 50 yarder on 1st down? Better yet just punt the ball to Minnesota on 1st down so that nothing bad or “unique” happens. Stupid Trestman logic. Gould is automatic from 40 and in, only 70% from 47.

  21. Bottom Line: Trestman Blew it. It’s time he took responsibility. This team has no discipline or accountability. I can’t understand why he doesn’t take some of these dumb ass penalties and the players who make them accountable.

  22. This is not a big deal.

    Yes- he should have run another play. You should not be so terrified of negative outcomes (turnovers, penalties) that you take your offense off the field on second down.

    On the other hand, it’s not unreasonable to assume that your professional kicker is going to nail a 47 yard field goal indoors 9.5 out of 10 times indoors. If you look at kicking stats, that distance indoors is practically a chip shot these days, and your kicker had not missed from that distance all year.

  23. I hear Trestman is giving the players an extra day off because they played hard…… They get paid to do what they do…. You might as well give them the whole week off cause they will most likely get their heads ripped off on Mon. night.
    It’s time to flush. You are not going to the playoffs. Even if the Lions fall apart you will not win crap. Not with this defense. Yea Trestman, give em some more time off……….Dumb.

  24. Stop calling it hindsight when it’s common sense. Hindsight is something you only talk about after it’s all said and done. Bear fans across the country were probably wondering what the “genius ” was doing before that field goal was kicked.

    For a Coach that wants to hide behind stats and percentages, he sure screwed up. What are the odds of making a 47 yard field goal compared to a 43 yard field goal? Hmm…

  25. I don’t have a problem with the call to kick it on 2nd down. As he said, the offense could screw it up, there could be a holding penalty, a fumble – anything, so to kick it as soon as they got past the 30 is something Spock would say was logical. It didn’t work out, but not because of the call to kick it then. Not a bad call, it just didn’t work.

  26. ———————————
    fluffy19 says:
    Dec 2, 2013 9:46 AM
    Conversely, if the Vikings hadn’t waited until 3rd down to attempt their very make-able kick, they would have had 3 downs to try to make back the 15 yards lost on the facemask call. Hindsight is 20/20. Criticizing a coach for using literally the most accurate kicker in history, in a controlled environment, rather than trusting a back up QB, is ludicrous.

    What’s ludicrous is calling Josh McCown a backup when he seems clearly more effective than Jay Cutler. McCown hadn’t turned the ball over all day long and the Bears were moving up and down the field with ease against the horribly depleted Vikings secondary. No other coach in the entire league would have made this stupid decision.

    And everyone is forgetting that Robbie Gould’s wife had just given birth and Gould had no sleep for about a thousand hours before this game.

  27. Trestman is great offensive coach, but this isn’t hindsight, as i was watching i was thinking they should get closer, 47 is faaaaaar from automatic + pressure cuz end of game. But the bears defense is horrible so it doesn’t really matter anyway !!

  28. The Bears got drilled last week by a St. Louis team with 2 rookie Rb’s, a backup QB and not a #1 receiver to be found….and here we got Bears fans talking Playoffs. Come on man. They aren’t going anywhere with their Defense playing like it is. This week – Minnesota, a 2 win team takes them to OT. Seriously, if they Bears were a legit playoff type team, this one never would have come down to overtime.

  29. Bears offense should know their head coach has zero confidence in them. He doesn’t even trust them to gain a couple of yards without turning the ball over. That should help them rally in the last 4 games of the season.

  30. 47 yards is not a chip shot. I don’t care who your kicker is.
    It was absolutely the wrong call. Another 3 yards and it probably would have gone through.

    Anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool.

  31. How brilliant of your organization to fire 10-6 Lovie Smith and hire a clown who makes a lot of very questionable decisions.
    All Lions fans thank you

  32. This team will never be great with Trestman. I saw a very conservative play calling as in, lets play to not lose mentality versus the killer instinct, we need to win period, at all costs.

    The passing game was working well and we started to run it more? You call for a field goal on second down rather than try and get a few mores yards?

    You call run plays up the middle when your opponent kept running wide opening holes and getting mileage.

    Marc Trestman losts this game and the chance for the playoffs are pretty much done. Put a fork in them. When you have game in hand and can’t deliver, the GM’s look at that along with the won loss record too. They should cut this guy and start over.

  33. Gould is the best kicker in football but he looked very very nervous before the kick. If I could see it the coaching staff should of too and called a time out. Should have taken a deep breath and relaxed a minute or two.

  34. It was absolute poor judgement on Trestman’s part. He’s a deep thinker and an intelligent guy, however, he has a tendancy to over think some of the obvious things. Especially over the past few games. The Bears were driving the ball down Minnesota’s throat that last drive. They had at least one more down to move it forward another 2-3 yards, or even more.
    Yes, it’s Robbie Gould’s job to make field goals, but it’s the head coach’s job to put him in the BEST position to do that. On 2nd down, from 47 yards out, was NOT the best position at the time to kick that field goal. I’m hoping Trestman can use these poor decisions as a learning curve and not repeat them in the future. If that happens, the loss wouldn’t be completely a travesty……..

  35. When Trestman has trouble with getting 1 yard on two tries to put a game away or calls for a 47 yard kick on 2nd down to win even the avearge fans starts to question his ability. The Bears need help at several positions on the field but most folks thought that hiring Trestman would make the silly Lovie coaching mistakes go away. Has not happened and I assume Bears fans didn’t think we needed to both hire and then train a fellow to be a decent NFL coach. Right now the average fantasy league game player could do better than the guy from Canada during the game.

  36. Playing scared and heading coaching blunders. I hoped this would end with Lovey Smith. It never ends with the Bears. How can a professional team be afraid to run 1 or 2 plays? A 47 yard field goal is not a chip shot!

  37. larryboodry says: Dec 2, 2013 7:14 AM

    Here’s a thought…If our damn defense didn’t allow the Vikings to convert 4th.-and-11 from their own 8-yard-line, the Bears win 20-17 in regulation.

    I couldn’t agree with you more…
    As a matter of fact, the entire 4th quarter was spent in a prevent defense. Of all the post Lovey Smith plays inherited, that one should have been the first ripped out of the book and burned. Coverage was soft; they played so far off the Viking receivers even Grossman would have picked them apart on that last drive. They got so concerned over protecting a 3 point lead they forget to win the game.

  38. It was a bad decision. I understand his rationale and if it were third down, I could see not wanting to take a chance on a turnover or a negative yardage play when you think you’re in range.

    However, on second down, if you don’t get positive yards to make the kick easier, you have another chance to pick up positive yards. The odds of going net negative over two plays is much longer than just one.

    All of that said, Gould has barely missed this year and for all of his 50+ yarders, a 47 yard attempt indoors seemed very makeable.

  39. taintedsaints2009 says:Dec 2, 2013 12:38 PM

    One of the dumbest coaching decisions I’ll ever see. 47 yards is not a chip shot. He cost them any shot at a playoff spot with that call.

    Bears aren’t very good anyway. Not like they were poised to make a run and win it all. that team needs help at a few positions before they can contend.

    No team in the NFC North has a shot at winning it all this year. The team representing the NFC North will be the worse team in the playoffs and will lose, at home, in the first round.

  40. Since when is a 47-yard field goal a chip-shot? Nobody should ever kick a 47 yard field goal on second down unless it’s the last play of a half. Nobody should ever kick a 47 yard field goal on third down either unless it’s at the end of a half or in overtime.

  41. for those saying it was the right call. Consider, Gould, in his career, is 72.2% from 40-49 (according to That means, there is a nearly 28% chance he was going to miss. The likelihood of a turnover or a penalty is far less than 28%. I don’t have the information, but for that to be true, every 4 plays there would be a penalty or turnover.

    Also consider, at 30-39 yards, Gould is just over 90%.

    The right call would have been to try and get 8 more yards.

  42. At least Robbie Gould has the guts to step up and take blame. That’s called accountability. He seems to be the only guy in the whole organization with it. What ever happened to that stuff of looking out for the guy next to you?

  43. I didn’t like the call. You can’t be a coward and not run more plays because you’re afraid of something going wrong. 47 yard field goals are not gimmes.

  44. Trestman is a complete idiot he is the worst coach in the NFL the bears will never make the playoffs while this moron is the head coach bring love back or anybody for that matter

  45. The football gods are conspiring to do whatever it takes to get the Lions to the playoffs. This is penance for over 50 years of abuse and neglect. Still, these are the Lions so don’t despair Bears fans: you are still in the hunt.

  46. If you think kicking a 47 yard field goal on 2nd down is a good idea, you are perfectly qualified to be a moron talking to a flatscreen in a wing joint. You are not a qualified coach who should be working in the NFL however.

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