Saturday, May 28, 2022

Matt Nagy Owes Dan Campbell Dinner After Thanksgiving Fiasco


Matt Nagy endured a week from hell. It started with the backbreaking loss to Baltimore. Then came the rumor that players in the locker room wanted him gone. Last but certainly not least came the report that he’d be getting fired after the Detroit Lions tilt on Thanksgiving. A controversy that required team chairman George McCaskey to personally meet with the team to insist it wasn’t true.

After all of that, Nagy had to coach a football game on the road. Unsurprisingly, it was atrocious. Both teams looked terrible for 60 minutes. Everything from bad penalties to ugly turnovers, and of course mind-numbing coaching decisions. True to form, it was another Nagy Special on Thursday. A lacking commitment to the run game. Wide receivers unable to get open. Constant curl routes. Baffling timeouts. Run down the checklist and they were all there.

It looked for a moment like the Lions might actually win too.

They took the lead into the 4th quarter 14-13 after a TD strike to T.J. Hockenson. Then the Bears followed that with a punt. It felt like the game was pretty much over. Thankfully, Detroit’s own embattled head coach Dan Campbell came to the rescue. It began on the Lions’ next possession. After a strong start, they committed three penalties in a row. The second time they’d done that in the game. This forced them to punt.

Then with 8:30 left, the Bears began a 19-play march down the field. Where it got crazy was Campbell, despite having three timeouts, didn’t use any of them before the 2-minute warning. Then as the Bears entered field goal range he used one, but when the defense had too many men on the field he tried to use another right away. This resulted in a five-yard penalty on 3rd and 9. Chicago got a 1st down on the next play.

If that weren’t bizarre enough, Nagy tried to hand the game right back with a timeout rather than let the clock run. Thankfully he ended the madness by taking three knees, allowing Cairo Santos to kick the winning field goal.

Matt Nagy enjoyed another schedule benefit

If it had been any other team than the Lions, there is no question the Bears would’ve lost. That is how poorly they played in all three phases. Detroit just happened to be worse. Andy Dalton threw for over 300 yards and somehow the offense still only scored 16 points. Nothing about this game will change opinions on him. He almost lost to the worst football team in the NFL if not for some fortunate boneheaded mistakes by his coaching counterpart in the final minutes.

McCaskey may be willing to keep Matt Nagy for the rest of the season, but that doesn’t make his decision the correct one. The Bears are playing their worst football seen in four years. Everything looks broken and the man in charge has no answers for fixing it. This could end up being the last victory the team enjoys for the rest of 2021.

It’s been that hard to watch.

Speculation about his future will continue for six more games. A rough slog for fans. There will also be questions regarding GM Ryan Pace as well. Questions that won’t be answered until the new year. Until that, people should try to enjoy their holidays as best they can.

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