The Bears were ahead by eight when they got the ball at the Raiders’ 30 with 1:55 to play.
“I think everybody in the world knows there’s probably three runs coming and a field goal can put it at two scores,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said.
There was a time when that was a problem for the Bears. It was a long time ago.
Kicker Cairo Santos has now gone more than a year without missing a kick. When he made two 46-yarders Sunday — to put the Bears up eight and, then, after the three runs, 11 — he extended his consecutive made field goals streak to 34. It’s the longest in franchise history, the longest streak in the NFL and is getting closer to an NFL record.
Adam Vinatieri’s 44-straight made kicks, set from 2015-16, is the most in the league history. Two others have made at least 40 in a row: Mike Vanderjagt from 2002-04 and Gary Anderson from 1997-98.
The Bears’ consistency stands in stark contrast from the Bears’ upcoming opponent. Packers kicker Mason Crosby missed three-straight kicks Sunday — including two that would have been walk-off winners — before making a 49-yarder to beat the Bengals in overtime.
“The confidence is there from all of us, myself included,” Nagy said. “And it’s nice to have that.”
Nagy offered no update on right tackle Germain Ifedi’s knee injury — or how soon help could be on the way. Rookie Larry Borom is eligible to return from injured reserve and begin practicing this week, but Nagy would only say the Bears would “just keep working through that with him.” Borom hurt his ankle in the season opener.
Veteran Elijah Wilkinson was solid in Ifedi’s place Sunday.
This and that
• Nagy conceded his decision to challenge the spot of the ball when the Raiders converted fourth-and-1 early in the fourth quarter was betting on a longshot. But with the lead, he didn’t feel bad gambling a timeout.
“It was the risk/reward,” he said. “I think that you know there’s a slim chance of them overturning, you understand that. But at the same point in time, [if] that little percent happens, that’s a big swing point.”
Nagy lost the challenge.
• With JP Holtz (quad) and Jesse James (personal) out, the Bears turned to guard Alex Bars to play tight end over 17 snaps.
“He said it on the plane [Sunday] night, he said, ‘I look pretty good out there going in my motion,’” Nagy said “We said, ‘Aw, I don’t know about that.’ But there is a strategic advantage to some of that.”
• Nagy didn’t sound thrilled that new returner Jakeem Grant took all three kickoffs out of the end zone, even though one went for 32 yards. He said the Bears need to be smart about what kicks they return.