Bears Notebook: Matt Nagy Welcomes Second-Guessing On Late-Game Calls

October 14, 2018 - 7:06 pm
Categories: 

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (670 The Score) -- For the first time as Bears head coach, Matt Nagy on Sunday was a man of few words and much disappointment.

The Bears had lost 31-28 to the Dolphins in overtime, squandering countless opportunities at their hands. The frustration was clear in the tone of Nagy, the rookie coach who has been a positive force since arriving in Chicago this past January. It was clear this loss really hurt.

Among the moments from this wild game that Nagy addressed was the third-down play in overtime that could've either extended the drive or better positioned kicker Cody Parkey for a field goal. Four yards from the first-down marker, Nagy dialed up a running play for Jordan Howard. 

Howard was stuffed at the line of scrimmage, which forced the Bears to turn to Parkey for a 53-yard kick for the win. It went wide right, which turned the attention to Nagy's decision not to shoot aggressively for the first down.

"You go ahead, you throw it and then (reporters are) up here asking me why you took a sack," Nagy said. "So, you could go all day long with that kind of stuff."

Bernstein: Bears day totally wasted

The Bears (3-2) have a long list of regrets from a game that was there for the taking. They surrendered 541 yards of offense to backup quarterback Brock Osweiler, lost a fumble at the goal line, threw an interception in the end zone and failed to capitalize on chances well before Parkey's missed kick.

This game went to overtime after the Bears forced a key stop in their own territory late in regulation, which sent the Dolphins on for a punt. Ahead of that punt, Nagy allowed nearly 20 seconds to run off the clock before choosing to call a timeout. The Bears were then pressed against their own 7-yard line with 41 seconds remaining in regulation, so Nagy called for Mitchell Trubisky to take a knee and send the game into overtime.

"If we take a sack or there's a hold in the end zone, that's a safety and it's game over with 10 seconds," Nagy said. "And I'm not coming up here (to the postgame press conference) with that happening."

Nagy earned himself plenty of second-guessing after the Bears' season-opening loss to the Packers, a game in which they squandered a 20-0 lead and fell 24-23. The team then responded with three straight victories coming into Miami.

Following this difficult day for the Bears, Nagy will have to get his team regrouped for their game next against the Patriots next Sunday.

Injury updates

Star outside linebacker Khalil Mack emerged from the injury tent Sunday not the same monstrosity that he had been so far this season.

Mack had his first off game in a Bears uniform, failing to record a sack or make much of an impact in the loss, and it's worth wondering how the ankle injury he suffered in the second quarter affected him.

Mack underwent postgame tests on the ankle injury, deeming himself "fine" afterward. Teammate Akiem Hicks said he couldn't notice a difference in Mack's health during the game. But the Bears may be forced to monitor his ankle during this next week.

The Bears suffered at least one key loss in the game, with cornerback Prince Amukamara leaving with a hamstring injury. He had been dealing with the hamstring ailment for the last three weeks before practicing in full this past Friday for the first time.

Rookie cornerback Kevin Toliver was forced to step into Amukamara's place and was responsible for allowing the Dolphins' game-tying two-point conversation late in the fourth quarter.

Nagy will offer injury updates during his regular Monday press conference at Halas Hall.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.​​