Panther head coach Frank Reich initially stood by his decision to attempt a 59-yard field goal late in their 16-13 loss to the Bears on Thursday night. However, a shift in perspective emerged during a Friday press conference where Reich expressed a different view on the matter.
Reich, while reiterating that the decision was backed by statistical analysis, admitted a sense of hindsight regret. He contended that attempting the field goal was the right move based on the numbers, asserting that if kicker Eddy Pineiro had made the kick, the team could have eventually secured a victory. Nevertheless, in retrospect, Reich conceded that he wished he had opted to go for it on fourth-and-10, granting quarterback Bryce an opportunity to make a game-changing play.
The coach acknowledged that there was still sufficient time on the clock for a potential drive down the field even if the conversion attempt had failed. Reflecting on the situation, Reich admitted to second-guessing himself and voiced a desire to have chosen a different course of action. Despite weighing all the options and ultimately selecting the statistically supported play, he now sees the potential for a more favorable outcome by going for it on fourth down.
Considering the Panthers’ offensive performance on Thursday night, there’s a realistic possibility that a fourth-down attempt could have yielded the same result. However, Reich’s newfound perspective underscores the critical juncture in the season and his eagerness for a positive turn of events in his inaugural season as the head coach in Carolina. The longing for a strategic shift reflects the broader ambition to alter the trajectory of the team’s season.