Bears Blow Up During Second Half Collapse
Last night the first half brought in a new era of hope for the Chicago Bears. Coach Nagy displayed a 21st-century offense to go along with a tough defensive team. Khalil Mack proved he is worth the money and draft picks after his first-half efforts. The notion that he is a game changer is legitimate. Then, the wheels fell off. This new era brings the same results after Week One, another heartbreaking defeat at the hands of Aaron Rodgers.
We witnessed Aaron Rodgers do what Aaron Rodgers does, put a flawed Packers team on his back and carry it to victory. My prediction earlier in the week was accurate, if the Packers scored 24 points, the Bears will lose. The Packers did and the Bears lost 24-23. It is a storyline that Chicago fans have read before. It is an unfortunate reality of this organization, but this one stings more than usual.
Let This Resonate
Coach Nagy’s last two official games in which he called the plays, his teams (Kansas City and Chicago) lost in a similar fashion. Almost nine months ago, on January 6, 2018, he called another brilliant first half of football for his Chief’s offense, they led 21-3 at the half. Except for one thing, the Titans won the game 22-21. This was a playoff game for a team that was rolling in the second half of the season largely due to Nagy’s scheming.
Fast forward to September 9, 2018, his new Bears squad led 17-0 at the half… Except this was the Packers in Green Bay! Rodgers was knocked out of the game momentarily and the Bears looked incredible on both sides of the ball for one half. We don’t need to be reminded that this is the oldest rivalry in the NFL. A win would solidify the hope everyone has been clamoring about since the firing of John Fox. Especially since GM Ryan Pace did everything within his power to create a winning program, literally.
Nagy had eight-plus months to learn from his mistakes. What he showed last night is that he may just be incapable of making appropriate in-game adjustments to capitalize for a victory. This gets worse when both running backs Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen averaged 5.5 and 5.0 yards-per-carry on the night, respectively. Yet on a crucial third down in the waning moments of a potential upset, Nagy called a pass on third and one. You know the rest.
It was reminiscent of Seattle’s coach Pete Carroll calling a pass play near the goal line during the final moments of the Super Bowl against the Patriots and he had Marshawn Lynch, who is referred to as “Beast Mode,” in the backfield. Experts still question that decision.
Now, I do respect the fact that he is trying to put faith in QB Mitchell Trubisky but he is still a second-year QB learning a new and complicated system. Trubisky needs to learn how to capitalize in these moments to become the player Chicago believes he can become. But he isn’t Aaron Rodgers just yet. This was a game for the taking but Mr. Rodgers had the last laugh.
In the middle of the field during his post-game interview, Rodgers stated, “I knew once I got back on the field the adrenaline started going; I would be able to hang in there.” But it was his confident smile post comments that resonated. It was the smile of a winner.
Nagy failed again just like he had before. The Bears failed again just like they have so many times before. New era, same narrative.
There is still time to fix this but at least there were several glimpses of potential throughout the game. But it just wasn’t enough for a loyal fan base that desperately needed a win last night.
Until next time, stay thirsty. JT, out!