Nobody can ever say Matt Nagy lacks faith. The fact he was able to stay in tune with Mitch Trubisky after witnessing the first three quarters of that game in Detroit is a testament to that. The Chicago Bears head coach remained steadfast and let his quarterback continue to battle. That faith was rewarded with one of the craziest 4th quarter in recent franchise history.
Trailing 23-6, Trubisky went off. He engineered three successive scoring drives. The first two were fairly straightforward, ending with short TD passes to Jimmy Graham and Javon Wims. It was the third and last one though that could end up being a defining moment of the 2020 season. On the second play of the next drive, aided by a huge interception from Kyle Fuller, Trubisky threw a 27-yard frozen rope to Anthony Miller for a touchdown.
This wasn’t an easy lob to a wide open guy either. Miller was well-covered. The ball had to be perfect and it was. The craziest part though. Nagy told the quarterback that play was going to be a TD even before it happened. Peter King of NBC Sports explained.
With first-and-10 at the Detroit 27 at the two-minute warning, Trubisky and Nagy talked on the sideline. The call was a corner route to Miller, the third-year wideout from Memphis.
“Dude,” Nagy told Trubisky, “you’re gonna throw a friggin’ touchdown here!”
Matt Nagy knew exactly what he was doing
Now did the coach actually know the throw would be a TD? Maybe. Either way, that moment is a perfect encapsulation of how smart Nagy is as a motivator. He knew the situation. Trubisky had the hot hand. His Bears had momentum. That was the time to go for the killing blow. He had to make sure his quarterback’s confidence remained sky-high. So he told him exactly what was going to happen.
If the coach believes it, then the player will believe it. Trubisky went out there and threw one of the best passes of his career. Just like that, the Bears won their first opening day game since 2014. It wasn’t pretty and they needed a lot of fortunate breaks to get there. Yet they made a lot of those breaks themselves.
Credit Nagy for never allowing that team to quit, especially the quarterback.