A turbulent season for Cody Parkey ended in astonishing fashion.
The Chicago Bears kicker missed what would have been a game-winning field goal Sunday when his 43-yard attempt with 10 seconds remaining hit the left upright and then the crossbar before bouncing back toward Parkey. The play sealed a 16-15 win for the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC wild-card round and closed out the Bears’ season.
“That’s one of the worst feelings in the world to let my team down,” Parkey said after the game. “I feel terrible.”
Parkey had converted his three previous field goals in the contest, and the Bears held a 15-10 lead late in the fourth quarter. But a 2-yard scoring strike from Nick Foles to Golden Tate gave the Eagles the lead with 56 seconds remaining.
A 42-yard kickoff return by running back Tarik Cohen followed by two passes from Mitchell Trubisky to Allen Robinson for a total of 33 yards set up the Bears with a prime opportunity to move back ahead. Parkey converted an initial attempt, but Eagles coach Doug Pederson called time out before the play. On his second try, he missed in bizarre fashion.
Eagles defensive tackle Treyvon Hester told The Athletic that he tipped the kick.
Bears fans booed Parkey as he ran off the field.
“There’s really no answer to it,” Parkey, who kicked at Auburn, said. “I thought I hit a good ball.”
Parkey converted 23 of 30 field goals this season, ranking 28th out of eligible kickers with a 76.7 conversion rate. In a 34-22 win over the Detroit Lions, he hit the upright four times — twice on extra points and twice on field goal attempts.
“It’s hard,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said. “It’s a difficult deal. I don’t think you can write this story with how things went for him this year. How he rebounded. And then for that to happen, it’s tough.”
Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.