Matt Nagy: ‘We’ve got to perform and put points on the board’

Bears’ 35-point loss Sunday was largest during Nagy’s tenure

LAKE FOREST — Bears coach Matt Nagy said he understands frustrations about his team after its 38-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

After announcing over Zoom on Monday that he tested positive for COVID-19, Nagy talked about another uncompetitive game for his team. The loss was the team’s second straight and third loss of the season by 20 points or more.

Nagy said the Bears’ No. 1 focus is understanding that they can discuss the team’s identity and certain things, but they need to fix what’s broken in order to score more points and win more games.

“I understand completely and we all understand,” Nagy said. “Just as everyone wants to win and score points, hold teams to less points, we all want that too. It comes down to us doing it. We’ve got to it and we’ve got to perform and put points on the board so we can win games.”

Sunday’s 35-point loss was the largest in Nagy’s tenure. The Bears turned the ball over five times, including three interceptions from rookie quarterback Justin Fields, who also fumbled the ball away twice.

After Sunday’s loss, Nagy said he felt like his team had become really close in the last couple of days. On Monday, he explained that the thought came from positive feedback he heard about a meeting the team had on Saturday night.

Nagy wanted to feel the pulse of the team, so he held a meeting at the team hotel before going in for the night. There, he made sure players felt they could speak freely and talk about where they feel they are as a team compared to where he thinks they are as a team.

“I think that’s very important to do that, to have those once in a while,” Nagy said. “You can’t have those every week, sometimes you need to have some that are real conversations that mean a lot and that’s what we did.”

Nagy admitted the key for the Bears’ momentum to change right now is to win. Chicago hosts San Francisco and then travels to Pittsburgh for a Monday night game before it has its bye week.

The Bears haven’t competed well against the NFC’s top teams early in the season, teams the Bears will need to beat if they want to contend for a playoff spot. Excluding the team’s loss to the 4-3 Cleveland Browns, the Bears’ other losses have come against the Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay Packers and the Buccaneers, who have a combined record of 18-3 as of Monday.

Nagy wants his team to get back on track to what it did in wins against Las Vegas and Detroit, where the Bears scored 24 and 20 points, respectively. Nagy knows the importance of a winning streak — Chicago won three straight in December to qualify for the postseason in 2020.

Winning can build confidence amongst players, which is why Nagy wants his team to put in the work to build toward winning, because it’s not going to come by itself. Nagy said it’s important for everyone to get back to scoring and playing together as a team so that they can gain consistency and compete against any team in the NFL.

It’s pretty simple: Win, and the Bears can ease those frustrations outside of Halas Hall.

“If we do that,” Nagy said, “and we fight through this adversity, we fight through this tough stuff, we fight through it, then we can give ourselves a reason to say we’re going to get better and we’re going to do all of this together, and then everybody’s happy.”

Michal Dwojak

Michal Dwojak

Michal is an award-winning sports journalist based in Chicago. He most recently served as the sports editor of The Glenview Lantern and Northbrook Tower and is a graduate of the College of Media at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.