I’m having trouble focusing on writing this, because the clanging of Cody Parkey’s kicks off the uprights is ringing through my head.
Parkey had a dismal performance Sunday against the Lions, hitting the uprights four times. He finished with a stat line of 0/2 on field goals and 2/4 on PATs.
In Parkey’s defense, it’s harder to hit the upright four times than to make any of the field goals he was attempting.
“We are not going to go out there and run two point plays, we are still going to kick field goals,” said Bears head coach Matt Nagy after the game. “There is zero chance [we try out new kickers this week].”
Bears fans may not like that news, but I have to agree, keeping Cody Parkey is a good idea.
The 26-year-old Parkey is 13/18 on field goals this year, and 30/32 on PATs. He has been unimpressive this season, but there are no better options.
The old belief that kickers are a dime-a-dozen can no longer be modeled after the current talent pool in the NFL. Free agents kickers include, Cairo Santos, Roberto Aguayo, Blair Walsh, Nick Novak and etc. Of those kickers, the Bears have tried out, and cut, both Santos and Aguayo.
Parkey is not the only one who is struggling this year. Packers kicker Mason Crosby missed five kicks—four field goals and one PAT—week 5 against the Lions, and the most accurate kicker in NFL history, Dan Bailey, is 12/15 on field goals and 16/17 on extra points this season.
Few kickers in the league can call themselves surefire in 2018. But I know you won’t believe that so here’s some evidence:
Adam Vinatieri, 14/17 on field goals and 24/26 on PATs
Justin Tucker, 16/18 on field goals and 21/22 on PATs
Stephen Gostkowski, 19/22 on field goals and 31/31 on PATs.
The Bears also play in a cold, wet and muddy stadium. Whichever kicker is brought in will face a learning curve, and be equally as inaccurate as Parkey was. It may not be fun waiting to see if Parkey turns it around, but the Bears have brought in the kicker to end all kickers, three…maybe four times since Robbie Gould left.
I’m not advocating to keep Parkey forever, if he has another bad game the team should look for other options. But one bad game does not make your entire season.
If it makes you feel any better, the important kicks are yet to come for Parkey, and they will most likely come in a dome, or sunny LA. For the Bears to make, and advance in the playoffs, they will need quality kicking in Minnesota (a dome), New Orleans (a dome), Los Angeles (not a dome, but lets not kid ourselves here it’s going to be sunny and 80 degrees.)
Don’t worry Cody, we still love you.