Nagy Takes Accountability For Role In Bears' Loss

September 10, 2018 - 2:05 pm
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) -- Still wearing the hurt of defeat, Bears coach Matt Nagy stepped forward Monday afternoon ready to be critical of himself in the aftermath of a gut-wrenching loss.

The Bear squandered a 20-0 lead to the Packers on Sunday night, losing 24-23 in a game they should've won. There were many moments that slipped away in a second half in which the Bears could've come through with the victory, and there's plenty of blame to go around. 

Nagy came forth ready to accept his share.

"Trust me, I'll be harder on myself more than anybody," Nagy said.

That much came across during Nagy's first Monday press conference after a loss, with the 40-year-old holding himself accountable as play-caller after his first game as a head coach. Nagy lamented a key sequence in the fourth quarter that turned the game in the Packers' favor.

With 12:46 remaining in regulation and the Bears leading 20-10, Nagy dialed up a quick pass from quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to tight end Dion Sims and third-and-1 from the Chicago 34-yard line. It was a play Trubisky admitted after the game was better suited for a man defense rather than zone. Sims was the lone read on the play and Trubisky wasn't able to check out, Nagy said.

Trubisky could've had a free play and an automatic first down if he had caught Clay Matthews scrambling off the field as the 12th man. It was a mistake by him, and the Bears went into the play.

Sims found himself just shy of the first-down marker, with the Packers snuffing out the play for no gain The Bears would punt and quarterback Aaron Rodgers would throw his second of three touchdowns on the ensuing drive.

Nagy wishes he wouldn't have called that play in the first place.

"There are going to be times you go back and forth always looking at yourself (asking) what could you have done better, what could you have called better?" Nagy said. "There's definitely some in there that I look at myself and say, 'Hey, should I have done this or should I have done that?' 

"Hindsight's 20-20. You look back and you say, 'Oh, you wish you would have ran the ball there.' But we didn't, and so that was the play call we went with."

Leading 20-17, the Bears sustained a long drive in the latter half of the fourth quarter to protect their lead. They converted three third-down conversions -- including a third-and-7 in which Trubisky escaped the pocket and fired a strike to Anthony Miller to move the chains. The drive then reached its 13th play on a third-and-2 from the Packers' 14-yard line, with the Bears at the doorstep of a victory.

Trubisky dropped back, rolled out toward his right and fired a pass by Miller. A running play perhaps could've offered a better opportunity at moving the chains while ensuing the clock could keep ticking away. But Nagy was confident in the call.

"We have a lot going on there," Nagy said. "We have some crossers. We had a swing route. We were good with that."

Instead, the Bears opted for a Cody Parkey field goal and the six-point lead with 2:39 left. Considered to be an aggressive coach, Nagy was more comfortable taking the points in that situation -- despite the Packers having posted 17 unanswered points leading up to that and Rodgers finding his rhythm.

For Nagy, there was no second-guessing himself on that decision. 

"Trust me, I'm well aware of Aaron Rodgers and scoring a touchdown and how that can happen," Nagy said. "I get that. I'm also well aware of when you go for it and you don't get it and it's three-point game, and then a touchdown can put you up more than a field goal. I feel comfortable with that. I'm not concerned about that."

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