Off the upright and, for good measure, the crossbar. Like it was a conclusion that was written in the stars for a kicker whose attempts have appeared nothing short of magnetized all season. Certainly not the same set of stars that Cody Parkey helplessly pointed up to after losing the most high stakes game of Plinko with a postseason advancement on the line, but almost cosmically inevitable nonetheless. Simply put, the Bears season ended in the only possible way the universe would let it end, but that doesn't leave the leg from which the disappointment came as the only place to point the blame.
For one, regardless of his obvious religious affiliation, it's not Cody Parkey's responsibility to part the seas and allow a clean flight path for his own fickle foot...
More so than that, however, it's not Cody Parkey's responsibility to do damn near all the scoring for a team whose dominant defense was given a chance to live up to their billing as its strength and failed at the most inopportune of time. Consider this, the kicker who had absolutely no business retaining his job through December had more successful touches of the football than the Bears' most explosive and versatile offensive weapon did yesterday. During a game in which they scored a single touchdown, Tarik Cohen (ya know, the guy whose incredible return set up the potential game winning kick) had all of 27 yards from scrimmage on the four plays in which he was involved throughout four quarters. Cody Parkey probably should have had the football on a higher trajectory, seeing as it was only a 43 yarder, but he was still more accurate on the evening than the quarterback who routinely launched the ball into triple coverage.
The Bears didn't just refuse to replace their weakest link, they also leaned the most heavily on him at the most crucial of time. It kinda goes without saying that that's not how you win playoff games in the NFL, and that's on the organization, the coaches, and the rest of the players. It's the easier thing to do so people will undoubtedly continue to blame Cody Parkey, but - tip or no tip - he wasn't the one who put himself in a position to fail.