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Matt Nagy’s bets pay off – NBC Chicago

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Bears observations: Nagy’s bets pay off in victory that originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Bears treated themselves to a late Christmas present with a thrilling late-game victory in a Seattle winter wonderland on Sunday, thanks in large part to bold calls and clutch moments from Matt Nagy and Nick Foles. Even though the Bears earned their fifth victory of the year, it was far from a perfect performance.

MATT NAGY GAMES WEAR

After rolling the dice several times against the Vikings with little to show, Nagy kept his foot on the accelerator in Seattle. This time it paid off. Initially, it seemed Nagy’s decision to keep the offense on the field at the Seahawks’ four-yard line, down 7-0, was not the right decision since the Bears came out empty. But the defense managed to hold off Russell Wilson on the next drive, recovered his punt return on the Seahawks’ 15-yard line and scored a touchdown on the next possession. Of course, the biggest bet was the decision to go for a two-point conversion – and the victory – after the team touched late in the game. From losing to losing, save for a little pride, the bet is successful again, paving the way for their fifth win of the season.

NICK FOLES NOT AWESOME, BUT COMES BY

With both Justin Fields and Andy Dalton injured, Foles made his first start of the season and played well. His limited mobility certainly took a dimension off the offensive, but overall he made good decisions and did not commit turnover. Foles spread the ball, hitting nine different receivers, but didn’t hit a passing play for more than 20 yards until the team’s last practice of the match. This inability to hit on explosive plays was sorely missed, given the team’s struggles in high school. But Foles helped the Bears win the 38: 25-21: 35 possession battle. And when the Bears needed him to put the team on the back, he pulled off a quick strike and a great pitch on the next two-point conversion for the win. Foles finished 24-35 for 250 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Interest-free, reliable, and just enough to win.

DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENT DOESN’T WORK

The Bears tried several options in their defense throughout the game, but none worked particularly well for long stretches. The team mixed Artie Burns and Thomas Graham in and out of the roster at the cornerback position. There were times when Eddie Jackson slipped to play the slot machine (for the second week in a row), forcing Teez Tabor to safely come and replace him. The changes haven’t stopped the guys from getting burned or making defensive mistakes. There’s an argument to be made that this has also kept high school from finding a rhythm. In the end, the Bears gave up six plays over 20 yards. This allowed the Seahawks to score points quickly, with two discs scored in under two minutes and another taking just 3:04. They should have had another quick strike, but Jason Myers missed a 39-yard field goal which ultimately cost the Seahawks the game.

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