Rest assured. The NFL was praying the Chicago Bears became a good team against as quickly as possible. Having the second-largest media market in the country away from the spotlight left a lot of money on the table. This is why when the team started winning a lot last season, the league took every single opportunity to move them into later time slots for games. It’s also why they lead all other teams with five primetime appearances in 2019. Some people are annoyed by that. Head coach Matt Nagy is not.
The general argument is that having so many primetime games can create difficult time management for a team from week to week. Having an appearance in London this season also doesn’t help matters. Nagy isn’t bothered by it. If anything, he takes the opposite view. The more primetime games, the better. For one it adds a little extra incentive to the players to perform well under the lights in front of a national audience.
However, it’s also a firm reminder that it means you’re a good football team. He explained that thinkings during an interview on NFL Total Access.
“So, what I learned from coach [Andy] Reid when we were in Philadelphia and Kansas City is that you don’t want to be a team that has a bunch of 12 or 1 o’clock games. You want to have as many prime time games as possible. We’re excited to be in that position.”
Matt Nagy may be onto something in regards to this
Nagy may also have another motive. There could be a hidden benefit to playing so often in primetime. It can get a team used to playing under the bright lights. This so when they get to the playoffs where every game is as such? It’s much easier to handle that pressure. Last season, there were 10 teams who played five primetime games over the course of the year.
Seven of those teams ended up making the playoffs. Six of them won at least one game in the postseason, all four of the conference championship teams are present and so are both Super Bowl participants. That should offer an idea of what constantly playing in big atmosphere-type situations can do. Especially if you manage to win a fair share of those times.
The Bears were 3-1 in their primetime games in 2018. This would explain why they played well in their playoff opener against Philadelphia. A game everybody knows they should’ve won. It seems Nagy plans to use this approach to his advantage again in 2019.