DENVER – Perhaps now Bears’ fans don’t have to lose any more sleep when it comes to their kicker.
That’s because the man who has the job in 2019 provided them with a great dream instead of the nightmares they’ve had the past year when it comes to the position.
Eddy Pineiro hit a 53-yard field goal as time expired to help the Bears beat the Broncos 16-14 on Sunday evening at Empower Field in Denver. The thrilling finish is a complete reversal of the nightmare of the Wild Card game finish, when Cody Parkey hit the upright and the crossbar with a potential game-winning field goal on January 6th.
But Pineiro’s kick against the Broncos was true, going straight through the uprights with room to spare, sending the Bears’ sideline into delirium. It was one of three field goals on the day for the kicker, who is now 4-for-4 on the season.
It also gives the Bears their first win of the 2019 season, coming the days after a forgettable opening night loss to the Packers.
It was the final play in a wild final 30 seconds in which it appeared the Bears were heading to their second loss of the season. With 31 seconds left, Joe Flacco hit Emmanuel Sanders for a seven-yard touchdown to cut the visitor’s lead to 13-12. They’d go for the extra point, which was missed by Brandon McManus, but an offsides call on Buster Skrine gave them another try.
Instead of kicking, the Broncos decided to go for two, and they converted when Flacco found Sanders again for the two-points to put Denver up 14-13.
Yet the Bears weren’t finished. They got the ball at the 25-yard line and got a break when Bradley Chubb was called for roughing the passer after a five yard Mitchell Trubisky pass to Trey Burton. The Bears had three-straight incompletions from their own 45-yard line but on fourth down Trubisky completed a 25-yard pass to Allen Robinson to get the ball to the Broncos’ 35-yard line.
The refs granted the Bears a timeout just before the clock expired, which set up Pineiro, who calmly knocked down the 53-yarder for the victory. He’d hit field goals of 40 and 52 yards in the first half to grab the lead.
It was a day in which the Bears’ defense was once again the stars as the offense as the Bears had just 273 yards of offense. A 46-yard run by Cordarrelle Patterson did set up their first touchdown of the year in the third quarter – a one-yard drive by David Montgomery – but they wouldn’t reach the endzone again.
In the fourth quarter, Denver was able to get some drives going against the Bears’ defense, but were turned away at the Chicago two-yard line when Kyle Fuller intercepted a Flacco pass to end the drive. The Broncos would finish the job on their final drive of the game, going 62 yards on 12 plays, but Piniero’s heroics allowed the visitors get to out with a thrilling win.
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