It wasn’t a picture-perfect game from Matt Nagy’s team. The Chicago Bears coach will freely admit that fact. But anytime you can beat Tom Brady in primetime, you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
Following the 20-19 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Nagy cooed over his team’s resiliency.
“I think any time you go 4-1, you get to a point where they are not always the prettiest of wins, but I look to end the game with our defense, having an opportunity to shut down possibly the greatest quarterback to ever play this game with a 1:13 to go, down one point and then to come through with that, that’s a huge win,” Nagy said, via the team’s official transcript. “But you know, the best part about all this, and I’m super excited about with our players and our coaches is that we are 4-1 and we know we can play a lot better.”
It was an inauspicious start for the Bears. Nick Foles threw a wayward pass brutally off-target on the first third down, and the offense sputtered as Chicago got down 13-0 early.
As it has all season, Nagy’s squad battled back.
Late in the second quarter, a fortunate offside call that went against the Bucs instead of the Bears made a potential third-and-17 a convertible third-and-7 helped Chicago cut the lead to 13-7. Kyle Fuller then made a great crushing hit to cause a fumble on the next play, allowing the Bears to take a halftime lead.
Just when Chicago looked like it was about to get blown out, Nagy’s team made it a dogfight.
“I said this a few weeks ago, there’s something special about this team. We find ways to win and it’s not always pretty. We totally understand that,” Nagy said. “I mean, this is a big win for us right now, when you look at this to be 4-1. Every win is crucial, so I’m proud of our coaches and players for that.”
Foles epitomized not always looking pretty but getting the job done time after time. The starting quarterback made several brutally bad passes throughout the game — at least one of which fortunately led to a defensive pass interference. He also made some pinpoint passes that helped save the day, like the gorgeous touch toss to David Montgomery to set up Cairo Santos’ game-winning field goal.
“That’s who he is,” Nagy said of Foles’ ability to lead comebacks despite not playing his best. “Overall the offense made plays when they had to and I think that’s one of the special traits that Nick has.”
The offense made enough plays, got a ton of help from Bucs penalties (11 for 109 yards called against Tampa), and the defense again showed it’s one of the best units in the NFL with Khalil Mack reminding the world he’s a superstar.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Bears are 4-1 with a win over a team they could be jockeying with for playoff position come December.
If the win-column cared about style points, how the game looked might be of consequence. Fortunately for Nagy, it matters not one iota. The Bears are 4-1. For today, that’s all that matters.
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