Cody Parkey can perhaps breathe just a little bit easier tonight — it turns out the missed field goal that would have sent the Chicago Bears to their first playoff win in eight years wasn’t his fault after all.
Parkey’s kick from 42 yards out hit the upright then bounced off the crossbar before falling back in the field of play, no good. It was a devastating end to the season, especially for a kicker who had missed a league-high 10 field goals — including four missed kicks that hit the crossbar. But Eagles defensive tackle Treyvon Hester after the game gave some new insight, saying he had actually partially blocked the kick as it crossed the line of scrimmage.
Slow motion video backed up Hester’s claim, showing the ball striking his fingers at the line, changing its trajectory slightly. It’s not clear if the partial block was enough to make the ball miss, but it could come as some relief to the Bears kicker who after the game was devastated.
As NFL.com reported, Parkey had no idea how he missed the kick, saying it felt good coming off of his foot. Parkey had already hit the 42-yard field goal once, just before the Eagles took a timeout in the hopes of icing him.
“I feel terrible,” Parkey said after the game. “There’s really no answer to it. I thought I hit a good ball.”
The missed kick has already been dubbed the “Double Doink” for its slow and brutal path back to the field of play. It came after it looked as if the Bears’ hopes were dashed, with the Eagles marching on a 15-play, 60-yard drive for the go-ahead touchdown with less than a minute to play.
But the Bears stopped the Eagles two-point conversion attempt and the Bears kick returner Tarik Cohen brought the ball all the way back to the Bears 42-yard line. Two long completions later and Parkey had a 42-yard attempt that could have won the team’s first playoff game in eight years.
Props to Cody Parkey for facing the music after clanking a GW FG in 16-15 playoff loss to Eagles: “You can’t make this up. I feel terrible. I lLet the team down. That’s on me. I have to own it, be a man. Unfortunately that’s the way it went tonight.” #Bears pic.twitter.com/bqoLfeJamf— Ryan Baker (@RyanBakerMedia) January 7, 2019
Parkey was clearly taking the missed kick hard after the game.
“It’s one of the worst feelings in the world to let your team down,” Parkey said.
“I feel terrible. Continue to put things into perspective, continue to just put my best foot forward and just sleep at night knowing that I did everything in my power this week to make that kick and for whatever reason it hit the crossbar and the upright.”
It turns out that the “whatever reason” was the long hand of Treyvon Hester, though it’s not clear how much consolation that might be to Cody Parkey or the Chicago Bears.