Matt Nagy Defends Play-Calling Ahead Of Cody Parkey's Missed Field Goal

October 15, 2018 - 12:23 pm

(670 The Score) Bears coach Matt Nagy defended his conservative play-calling late in an overtime loss to the Dolphins on Sunday, stating that he had "ultimate trust" in kicker Cody Parkey to make a 53-yard field goal that went wide right and cost Chicago a win.

With the Bears well-positioned with a first-and-10 situation at the Dolphins' 41-yard line with less than four minutes left in overtime, Nagy called for three straight running plays. The last came on third-and-4, a play in which Jordan Howard was stuffed for no gain at the 35-yard line. 

Nagy cited two reasons for choosing to run instead of pass on third down -- he believed a 53-yard field goal was already well within Parkey's range and Howard had busted runs of 19 and 15 yards earlier on the drive.

"To me, that 35-yard line, a 53-yard field goal, I have ultimate trust in him making that," Nagy said Monday. "But at the same time, every yard that you get brings the percentage up a little bit. Now we just hit a 20-yard run, we just hit a 15-yard run and we had a couple more runs right behind that. So again, that's just the decision we ended up making. He makes that kick, and we're good. He doesn't and now it's 'Could you get a little bit closer?' It would've helped, but at the same time, I think Cody would be the first to tell you that he knows he can make that. For me, we're all in a situation where we're doing this thing together. So he missed the kick, but by no means was it because of whether it was 53 of 49 (yards). He pushed it right.

"In the end, I felt very comfortable with giving Cody Parkey a chance to make that field. And I'll say this: Depending on the situations, I have ultimate trust in him to make that."

Nagy absolved Parkey of blame.

"We win as a team, and we lose as a team," Nagy said. "All in all, we're sitting at 3-2, and I think my message to the team last night was we're frustrated that we lost. That was a tough environment in regards to just the game atmosphere. But the guys stuck together and they fought until the end.

"Our guys are in good spirits right now, and I think that's a really good thing."

Nagy was short in his responses and in one of the worst moods of his young Bears tenure in his postgame press conference Sunday after the loss. A day later, he was his usual open self and understanding of the second-guessing that was coming his way.

"I'm a big boy," Nagy said. "I can handle criticism."