LOS ANGELES – Eddy Piñeiro didn’t have much to say.
When asked about the first of his two missed field goals on Sunday night – a 48-yarder from the right hash – the Bears’ kicker offered a brief, three word explanation:
“Just missed it,” he said.
And the second? What went wrong on the 47-yard miss, in the same direction, a little over 10 minutes later?
“Just missed it.”
Piñeiro fielded questions for 80 more seconds before asking a Bears PR representative if the media session was over. He didn’t wait for a response before abruptly walking away.
It’s admittedly easy to understand his temperament after an 0-2 performance that has many wondering whether his job is safe when the Bears return to Chicago tonight.
“You want to see field goals made,” Matt Nagy said. “You’re in a game like this, a defensive battle – points are at a premium. You want to be able to make those kicks.”
The Bears’ troubles on opening drives have been well-documented, and both Piñeiro and Nagy lamented about how the early misses threw the Bears out of the rhythm that early turnovers from Roquan Smith and Eddie Jackson provided. Piñeiro’s field was clearly shortened after the second miss, as evident from Nagy’s decision to go for it on 4th-and-9 from the Rams’ 31 yard line only seven plays later. Later in the second quarter he also chose to punt from the Rams’ 39 yard line instead of giving Piñeiro a shot from 49. His longest kick on the year is from 52, and in similar conditions.
“I have no control over what Nagy does, because he’s the head coach,” he said. “I have no control.”
Going into the bye week, Piñeiro was 8-10 on field goal attempts, perfect on extra points, and already had a road game-winner to his name. He’s only hitting at a 50% rate since then and hasn’t made a field goal since a 3-5 performance against the Chargers that included a missed game-winner. He said after the game that he still feels confident in his pregame routine, and that the ball doesn’t feel any different coming off his foot.
Nagy threw water on the idea that Pineiro’s job is in jeopardy, only saying that “Eddy knows he’s got to make those.”
With playoff chances all but mathematically gone, Nagy, Chris Tabor and company now have two months to figure out if someone who started the season looking like the kicker of the future will even end it on the team.
“I’m not worried about anything right now,” Piñeiro said. “I’ve just go to keep making kicks in practice, go back and see what I did wrong, and just try to make kicks.”