Pineiro finished the game 3-for-3 on field goal attempts, including a 52-yard conversion in the second quarter.
“It felt different. This was an emotional kick,” Pineiro said afterwards. “With everything I’ve been through. The whole kicking situation. The Augusta silence. The media, everybody piling on.”
The Bears (1-1) went 1-of-2 on 50-yard field goals last season. The last time Chicago made two 50-yard field goals in the same game was 2011 at the Oakland Raiders, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
The Bears settled on Pineiro to replace Cody Parkey after an exhaustive offseason search that at one point included nine place-kickers at the club’s annual rookie minicamp in May.
The Bears traded for Pineiro in the spring after he spent last year on the Oakland Raiders‘ injured reserve list.
“I like rooting for good people and he’s a good person,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said. “He fought for a lot to get to this point. He listened to coaches, he trusted himself, and teammates that believe in him. Good things happen to good people. 42-yarder, 52-yarder, 53 to win the game. Can’t make that up.”
Eddy Pineiro describes the emotion around his game-winning kick and how kicking for the Bears resembles his time at Florida.
Pineiro, 24, is a perfect 4-for-4 on the season after nailing his lone attempt in last week’s season-opening loss to the Green Bay Packers.
“Whenever you have a new guy come in, you want to see if that particular player has the ‘dawg’ in him — meaning that raw, doesn’t care, just going to go in there and compete persona,” Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara said. “All throughout training camp, OTAs, we’ve just seen that in Eddy. He’s always had ice in his veins. When he missed one, he was never shaken over it.”