Matt Nagy’s inexcusable end to first half vs. Saints
When you enter NFL Wild Card Weekend as the biggest underdog on the board, you’ve essentially got nothing to lose.
Their head coach however treated the end of the first half as if the Bears were the ones with everything to lose.
Trailing 7-3 with 1:49 remaining before halftime, the Bears got the ball back at their own 23-yard line, stocked with two of their three timeouts, and also set to get the ball to start the second half.
If ever there was a time to be liberal in playcalling it was then. What followed was instead as appalling as anything that has occurred with the Bears in now three completed seasons under Matt Nagy’s watch:
1st and 10 from own 24 (1:49): 5 yard run by David Montgomery
Alright, I get if you’re trying to catch the defense napping that a run can do just that, but if you actually are playing to win a pass will certainly be coming next, even with the Saints calling their final timeout.
2nd and 5 from own 29 (1:42): 3 yard run by Montgomery
If one of these first two plays is a run and one is a pass that’s one story, but both being runs is a tough sell at any time, but especially considering the circumstances.
3rd and 2 from own 32 (1:00): No gain on run by Ryan Nall
1977 called and wants it’s offense back. Seriously, this is not the game for Ryan Nall to be getting touches, but it’s especially not the situation for him having the ball in his hands. If you’re ever curious what coaching scared looks like, simply go back to the end of this half.
The offense didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard to that point, having only scored three points against the mighty Saints defense, but wouldn’t a logical person think that’s all the more reason for you to take a chance?
Considering one touchdown is going to be hard enough to come by wouldn’t maximizing your chances make sense?
Instead, it was a series of play calls that likely crushed the little confidence the Bears offense had at that point and it’s no surprise to me you saw them come out and do nothing as a unit in the second half.
It’s hard enough against a great defense, but it’s even that much more difficult when your own head coach curls up in the fetal position on the sideline, just before halftime.