MINNEAPOLIS – No question dominated the post-game news conference and social media after the Bears’ loss more than, “Why kick on second down?”
Matt Forte had gains of 7, 4, 9, 1 and 3 yards after Blair Walsh’s missed field goal in overtime (and all the chaos that preceded that).
Forte’s runs got the Bears to the Vikings’ 29-yard line and they faced a 2nd-and-7. Considering he had a 5.2-yard rushing average and the Bears had as perfect a long snapper as they come in Patrick Mannelly, there didn’t seem to be a ton of risk in trying to get closer for the game-winner.
Marc Trestman had just seen the Vikings cost themselves points with a 15-yard penalty, and the Bears had committed six penalties on the afternoon.
“We were definitely in [Robbie Gould’s] range. I didn’t want to, in that point in time, risk a possible penalty that would set us back, similar to what happened on the other side,” Trestman explained after the game. “Or a fumble of some kind. Something unique. I felt that we were in range.
“... There’s no guarantee that we would get any yards on 2nd down or 3rd down. There’s no guarantee of that. I just felt we were in range and let’s get it done. I’ve seen it happen many times before. That’s the situation that it was and we didn’t get it done.”
Gould said he didn’t know what down it was. “We just got called out there to kick it,” he said. “I’ve got to go out there and make it. … It’s in my range, I had a chance to take over the No. 1 spot [most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history], a kicker like that has to come through for his teammates in the end.”
Teammates supported Trestman’s decision because of their confidence in Gould, who was 6-for-6 this season on field goals between 40 and 49 yards.
“If you give him that kick again [out of] 100 times, he will make everyone,” said Matt Slauson.
“I’m going to put my money on [Gould] 100 percent of the time,” said Corey Wootton. “I think he’s one of the best kickers in the league. If we had that same situation at any point in the season, I’d put my money on him.”
McCown didn’t seem to lobby to keep the offense on the field when Trestman decided to kick.
“I understand Marc’s thinking on that. You just watched [the Vikings] kick and get a penalty, so I think when you get in range, you take the shots and we’ve got a lot of faith and trust, and still do in Robbie, it’s just unfortunate that he didn’t make that one,” McCown said. “We felt like we moved the ball where we needed to move it. Go ahead and give a guy like Robbie Gould a chance to win the game.”
Expect to hear more from Trestman about that decision when he addresses the media on Monday.
Improved D-line: With Jeremiah Ratliff and Stephen Paea playing, the unit had a much better performance with fresher players in an expanded rotation.
“As far as a production standpoint, we played the best game pass-rush wise that we have all year,” said Corey Wootton.
Quick hits: Matt Forte had 151 yards of offense and averaged 5.2 yards a carry on the day. … Craig Steltz, who started for Major Wright (hamstring), led the Bears with 12 tackles. … Adrian Peterson set a Vikings record with 35 rush attempts and he eclipsed 10,000 yards rushing in his career during his 211-yard output.