CHICAGO - With 11:56 to go in the fourth quarter yesterday, trailing by 18 points, looking at fourth-and-goal from the Bears' 4-yard line, Eagles coach Andy Reid called in the field-goal team. It made sense. The 22-yarder that David Akers kicked moved the Eagles to within 31-16, which made it a two-score game, which made the move both sensible and defensible.
Then, however, Reid did it again.
The second time, it made, uh, less sense.
Granted, the situation was not ideal. The Eagles were looking at fourth-and-goal from the 18-yard line with 4:52 left to play. There are not a lot of fourth-and-goal from the 18-yard line plays on that big laminated chart that Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg carry. Converting would have been a longshot of some magnitude.
Still, kicking the field goal made the score 31-19. The Eagles needed two touchdowns and a two-point conversion to tie the game before the decision and they now needed two touchdowns to win the game after the decision. The advantage gained by kicking for those three points was really tiny given how much time was left in the game. They still needed two touchdowns either way.
And even if it didn't matter in the end - the Eagles lost to the Bears, 31-26 - it still seemed an odd way to play it.
Reid, though, disagreed with that notion.
"I thought that was the right thing to do at the time," he said. "Things weren't going right, and I wanted points. So I went with points. It came down to one possession and an onside kick, and there were other things there, too. But to answer your question, I wanted points and that's what I wanted. I didn't want to come out of there without points."