Ask just about anybody who they think is the primary reason the Chicago Bears playoff run ended so quickly. The answer will always be the same. Cody Parkey. Or Cody (Expletive) Parkey for the more colorful folks. It’s not hard to understand why. He had the game in his hands. It was 16-15 with seconds left. A 43-yard field goal with minimal wind. This was the sort of kick he got paid a lot of money to make. Instead he clanged it off the post.

It marked the 11th missed kick of his season. People were calling for his head the moment the game ended. Thus far the Bears have held off on that, but it feels like merely a matter of time. However, there is one person who doesn’t shove all of the blame on the embattled kicker. Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher points the finger at the defense.

He sat down with Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune to talk about his captaincy at the Pro Bowl among other topics. Inevitably the Parkey kick came up. Urlacher agrees he should’ve made it, but also believes the Bears never should’ve been in that situation.

“It should have never gotten to that kick. Those were my emotions. The defense should have stopped them. And I think every one of those defensive players will tell you the same thing. Sure, maybe the offense could have done more. But those defensive players should understand that they should have found a way to get a stop so that it never got to that kick. But it did. And he should have made the kick. And he didn’t. Yeah, it got tipped, blocked, whatever. (Expletive) happens, man. (Expletive) happens.”

Cody Parkey kick could’ve been avoided if not for Bears defensive implosion

He’s not wrong. The Bears defense was supposed to be their ace and had been all year long. They had the game in their hands with 4:48 to go in the 4th quarter. The Eagles got the ball at their own 40 after a bad punt by Pat O’Donnell. Even so, Philadelphia had to score a touchdown to win. The defense couldn’t get it done.

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They had chances. The Eagles were at 3rd and 9 at the 13-yard line but the Bears allowed an 11-yard completion for the first down. Then they had 4th and 2 at the 2-yard line. One more stop clinched the game. Instead Golden Tate scored the go-ahead touchdown. This after the Bears had forced Philly to punt on their previous three possessions.

It’s hard to put blame on a unit that had been so good all year long, but Urlacher is correct. If they do what many of them get paid a ton of money to do in that situation, the Parkey kick never becomes necessary. Perhaps it’s fitting proof that as good as this team is, they aren’t ready for the big leagues just yet.