Why Not?

After James "Big cat" Williams got a paw on Mike Hollis' game-winning field goal attempt, the Bears had a chance to make a last ditch effort to get in position for their own shot at a game-winning field goal.

Instead, Dick Jauron made the executive decision to sit on the ball and take the game into overtime. The Bears took over at their own 29-yard line with 25 seconds on the clock and no timeouts. With the powerful and clutch kicking leg of place kicker Paul Edinger, all Chicago needed to do was get the ball to about the Buffalo 35 yard line for a shot at the game winner.

Paul Edinger has proven his clutch ability in the past, nailing a game winning field goal from 54 yards his rookie season of 2000, effectively ending the Detroit Lions chance of making the playoffs. His rookie year Edinger made 21 of 27 field goal attempts and made both of his attempts that were of fifty yards or more. Last season, he made 21 of 26 field goal attempts and this season he has gone 7 of 10 in field goal attempts. At the end of the first half versus New Orleans, Edinger had the distance on a 58-yard field goal, but the kick went wide left.

Edinger has the leg to make a long kick, and has the guts to be able to make a big-play. Jauron though curiously decided to go for overtime despite having all the momentum. The Bears were fortunate to be in the game, considering the rare events that had taken place earlier in the game, including a 62-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by safety Mike Brown. There is an old adage in professional sports; if you are at home play for the tie, on the road play for the win.

Coach Jauron decided to play for overtime, rather than trying to set up a game winning field goal during regulation, and the rest is history as the Bears went on to lose the game 33-27 in overtime. The Bears need just 35 yards to give Edinger a realistic chance at nailing the game winner, but Jauron chose the conservative route, which ended up in a loss. Sure, hindsight is like twenty-twenty vision, but maybe this experience can further shape Jauron's coaching methods.


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