On Wednesday it was announced that Cairo Santos won Special Teams Player of the week, and it begs the question: Should the Bears stick with Cairo Santos over Eddy Pineiro?
Against the Carolina Panthers, he converted FGs of 31, 55, and 31, with the 5-yarder being a career-long and that kick was a no-doubter. Between that and the game-winner against Tampa Bay, Santos has erased the taste of some early season misses and Bears’ kicking woes, leaving Bears fans feeling comfortable.
When it comes to trying to compare the two, it’s tough because Pineiro only has one season under his belt, but for number’s sake:
- Cairo Santos Career: 80.8% on FGs and 96.6% on XPs
- Eddy Pineiro Career: 82.1% on FGs and 93.1% on XPs
So, it’s not like we’re comparing Justin Tucker to one of these guys and there’s a clear cut option. God, could you imagine having Justin Tucker? Anyway, for the most part these guys are equal, but the numbers skew it a bit. For instance those numbers don’t tell you that Eddy Pineiro was 2/2 on FGs over 50 yards last year including a game-winner against the Broncos, but on the flip side of that, they also don’t tell you he missed a game-winner against the Chargers at home and was just 3/7 in the 40-49 yard range last year. Just like they don’t tell you Cairo Santos hasn’t been able to find a home in the NFL (including a previous short stint with the Bears) and the last we saw him last year his FG% was 44.4% with the Titans.
Cairo Santos has made his last 7 in a row and Pineiro has yet to make it on the field this season which kind of leads to a “what have you done for me lately” view on things. It also doesn’t help that the extent of Pineiro’s injury has been sort of hush-hush (Does anyone else feel like that?). I don’t think we have any idea when he can even come back. Don’t get too caught up in the Player of the Week honors for Santos either. Pineiro received the same honor after that Broncos game winner last year.
The old saying is that a guy shouldn’t lose his job to injury (Don’t tell that to Tyrod Taylor), so it puts the Bears in a tough situation with Pineiro. I think you need to roll with Santos until at the very least Pineiro is completely healed obviously, but no rushing him back with the chance of another injury. Santos is doing just fine and seems like he can get the Bears through these games, but should eventually look at getting Pineiro back into the game once he’s healthy enough.
Either way the Bears choose to go, I don’t believe there would bring massive regrets. Again, it’s not like we’re talking about one of these guys being Justin Tucker-esque. Let’s see if Santos can keep this up though and stay hot for the time being.
Do you think the Bears should stick with Santos or give Pineiro his job back when he’s healthy?