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It’s hard not to feel for Bears kicker Cody Parkey

Cody Parkey had a chance to give the Bears their first playoff win in eight years.

NFL: NFC Wild Card-Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Cody Parkey’s job is to make kicks for the Chicago Bears, so getting criticized for missing one is part of that job. But because kicking footballs isn’t easy, sometimes players miss — and man did Parkey pick a tough way to miss a hugely important field goal try.

If Parkey managed to make a 43-yard field goal in the final seconds of a Wild Card game against the Philadelphia Eagles, it would’ve given the Bears their first playoff win since January 2011. Instead, he doinked it off both the left upright and the crossbar, and missed.

Howwww?

Well for one, a close look at the play appears to show Eagles defensive tackle Treyvon Hester barely getting a couple fingers on the ball to change its trajectory:

The NFL confirmed as much Monday by officially crediting the Eagles with a blocked kick. But part of a kicker’s job is getting enough air under the ball that it won’t be touched by defensive linemen.

Just before his miss, Parkey buried the field goal — but it didn’t count, because Eagles coach Doug Pederson called timeout to ice the kicker. That’s a strategy that hasn’t worked in a really long time.

After the timeout, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins did his best to get in the head of Parkey:

Earlier in the year, Parkey somehow managed to hit the uprights four times in a game against the Lions. That curse evidently followed him into the playoffs.

He’s certainly not the only reason the Bears lost. Mitchell Trubisky struggled for much of the game and led Chicago to just one touchdown. The No. 1 ranked Bears defense had a chance to ice it, but gave up a 12-play, 60-yard touchdown drive in the final minutes that gave the Eagles back the lead.

But that won’t stop fans from saying horrible things to Parkey on social media. Nor will it stop the kicker from feeling like he’s completely to blame.

His teammates came to his defense, though.

And for those who didn’t care whether it was the Bears or Eagles moving on to the Divisional Round, it was difficult not to feel empathetic for Parkey. Model and TV personality Chrissy Teigen was one of those people who felt for the kicker:

Parkey gets paid a lot of money to make kicks. But it’s still hard not to feel bad for a player who had his kick partially blocked and is now getting threats and a stream of hate from fans as a consequence. That’s tough.