Carolina Panthers head coach Frank Reich regrets his decision to attempt a late 59-yard field goal during Thursday’s 16-13 loss to the Chicago Bears.

After originally defending his call postgame, Reich said Friday he wishes he had put the ball in rookie quarterback Bryce Young’s hands with the game on the line.

“Give Bryce that moment, in hindsight,” Reich said. “The reason is that there was still time enough left on the clock. Even if we get the conversion, we still have time to drive down and score. It’s easy to second-guess yourself, I wish I’d gone the other way. I considered all the options, I went with the statistical play. Our defense was playing good, if we tied it up, I was feeling good about our changes in overtime. … The thought of winning was always first and foremost.”


The Panthers – who had two timeouts left at the time – put kicker Eddy Pineiro on the field on a fourth-and-10 at Chicago’s 41-yard line. Carolina was down by three with 1:40 left in the fourth quarter. Pineiro – whose career-long field goal is 56 yards – missed the long kick, and the Bears then ran out the clock to seal the game. The loss dropped the Panthers to 1-8 this season.

“I did confirm that the percentages are what they are. … Clearly, the odds are in the favor of kicking the field goal,” Reich added.

Ben Baldwin’s fourth-down decision model shows that going for it would’ve increased Carolina’s chances of winning the game by 1.3%. The Panthers converted all three of their fourth-down attempts versus Chicago.

Reich, who’s in his first year with the Panthers, had said Thursday that he’s watched the team “make 60-yarders in practice,” according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

The Panthers have endured a disappointing campaign. They traded up to select Young first overall in April, but the Alabama product has failed to meet expectations. He has tossed eight touchdowns to seven interceptions in eight starts.

The Panthers host the Dallas Cowboys in Week 11.

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