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Frank Reich explains his late-game call in loss to Bears

Frank Reich looks ahead

Jan 31, 2023; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers head coach Frank Reich speaks at his introductory press conference at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Griffin Zetterberg-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers settled for — and missed — a deep field goal attempt to tie the game late Thursday against the Chicago Bears. Panthers head coach Frank Reich firmly stood by his decision.

The Panthers were trailing 16-13 against the Bears with less than two minutes remaining at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill.

Panthers quarterback Bryce Young was unable to complete a pass on third-and-10 with his team at the Bears’ 41. Instead of going for it, Reich opted to send out kicker Eddy Pineiro for a game-tying field goal attempt from long range.

Pineiro’s 59-yard field goal attempt kick fell short of the uprights.

Reich explained the decision to attempt a long field goal during the postgame press conference.

“That’s my call. I’ve seen us make 60-yarders in practice,” said Reich. “It felt like there was a little bit of a breeze at our back. If you just looked at the pure percentages, the pure percentage play is to kick it.”

The Panthers coach pointed to a 30% chance of converting a first down on 4th-and-10. He believes that odds of Pineiro connecting on a field goal from 59 yards out was higher than 30%.

But Pineiro, of all people, would know about the challenges of kicking at Soldier Field in November.

Pineiro was the Bears’ primary kicker during the 2019 season. He converted on a career-low 82.1% on field goals that season.

The Panthers kicker has never converted on a field goal longer than 56 yards in his career.

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