Chicago Bears' Nagy breaks down his offense after victory
Paraphrasing in one line Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy's roughly 22-minute meeting with the media Monday following Sunday's last-second 16-14 victory over the Denver Broncos: It's a lot better to be 1-1 than 0-2, now let's get back to work.
It's not that Nagy wasn't happy with various elements of his team's performance before their first visit of the year to 'Club Dub.'
Nagy couldn't be any happier with his defense, and he appeared thrilled not to be asked about why he didn't run the football. But he also didn't hide from concerns about how far his offense has to go.
"For us, our own expectations is not to be 31st in the NFL in offense right now," Nagy said. "I can tell you that. And that comes down to scoring, right?
"The good thing about that is we won a game and at the end we try to pull all the positives -- the way we won with our offense, coming back and doing what we did there, that's great. But we know we need to be better."
Pressed on how much of the focus should or needs to be on third-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky, Nagy refused to go there.
"I know to everybody else it comes down to that one spot, but to me it comes down to everything," he said. "(Trubisky) gets a lot of that, no doubt, but it's getting the run game going, making sure we have our execution in the pass game and different elements of the pass game, me calling things at the right time.
"I don't want to put it on one guy, I really don't."
That is an easier sell today because as underwhelming as Trubisky was at Denver, it's becoming clear that he isn't getting a ton of help from his receivers, and this week instead of giving the ball away at the biggest moment of the game, on the penultimate play, he executed perfectly and gave kicker Eddy Pineiro a shot at the win.
While Nagy wasn't splashing praise all over his pass catchers, when pressed on if they're getting the job done, he wouldn't throw them under the bus.
"Well, there's a little bit of everything that goes into that," Nagy said. "There's certainly times that there's guys open, and there's been times with some really good quarterbacks out there that guys are open and they don't get to them.
"Then you have the pocket, right, and then you have whether was the route open, when did you see it open?"
Whatever his reasons are, Nagy wasn't as protective of his offensive line.
"I thought the offensive line did a really good job in pass protection," he said. "Again, zero sacks. I really liked that part of it.
"I felt like in the run game, there were a couple times here or there that there were some mental mistakes that we can correct. It's fixable. Part of that goes into, if that happens, we get instead of a 4-yard run, we get a 9- or 10-yard run.
"That's what I'm looking for."
While Nagy clearly wasn't blaming his O-line, that did speak to what he apparently believes is a much bigger problem.
"For me, there's a little bit of rhythm to it," he said. "So when I say that, I feel like right now some of those chunk plays, like the one yesterday with C.P., with Cordarrelle (Patterson), you could sense it.
"After that play, you could really feel that sense, that vibe on the sideline, guys running off like there was a rhythm to, 'OK, next play's in. We're going to keep our foot on the pedal.'
"I feel like in the last two games, we're probably lacking those explosive plays. When I dig into that thing … does that mean you've got to throw the ball downfield more? Does that mean it's throwing the ball always? No.
"We just need more explosive plays. What it means is plus-10 to make it first-and-10 the next time."
Right or wrong, what is certain is that it should be a lot easier for the offense to work on the fix this week than it was last week.