The Chicago Bears are not a franchise known for executing big comebacks in their history. A byproduct of having constant woes at the quarterback position. That is what made their 4th quarter rally on Sunday in Detroit so shocking. Down 23-6, not a single person watching on TV gave them a prayer. Not with that quarterback and not with the defense playing the way it was. It seemed the only man who still had faith was Matt Nagy.
QBs coach John DeFilippo said after the game that they “never saw him sweat.” Such calm was no doubt contagious on the sideline. Even so, Nagy knew that unless his team got some sort of spark soon, it wouldn’t matter. Opinions may vary on what exactly got the Bears going in those final 15 minutes. Most will probably point to the big kickoff return by Cordarrelle Patterson.
Nagy though had a different one in mind. One that people probably forgot due to all the craziness that followed. He explained what it was on The Rich Eisen Show.
Here is the play in question and it’s easy to understand Nagy’s choice. It’s near the end of the 3rd quarter. They’d just punted again on the previous series. Their first two plays were an incomplete pass and a run for no gain. It was 3rd and 10 and the Bears hadn’t converted a 3rd down all day. Then Mitch Trubisky hit Anthony Miller with this.
Matt Nagy knew its significance from what happened next
On the next play, Allen Robinson made one of the catches of the season so far. A diving 22-yard grab that put Chicago in the red zone. Seven plays later which included a big 4th down conversion, Jimmy Graham punched it in on a 2-yard reception. Everything started to snowball after that. Both teams traded punts. Then Detroit missed a long field goal attempt. The Bears turned that into their second touchdown.
Moments later Kyle Fuller intercepted Matthew Stafford. Trubisky found Miller again two plays later for the decision 27-yard touchdown that ended up being the game-winner.
Proof again that it only takes one big play to start swinging the momentum in the opposite direction. Nagy knew it at the time and made sure his team capitalized on it.
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