Chicago Bears

Hub Arkush: Bears' Matt Nagy shakes off loss, but work to do

Bears quarterback Chase Daniel throws a pass in the second half against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
Bears quarterback Chase Daniel throws a pass in the second half against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

The sky didn’t fall on your beloved team Sunday in London, Bears fans. The sun did come up Monday morning, and now is not the time to get out on the ledge.

Every team in the NFL has a game or three every year where, worst case, they fail to show up or, best case, arrive without the edge that allows them to play at their best.

As coach Matt Nagy told the media Monday morning in London before heading to the airport and returning to Chicago, “This game reminds me a little bit last year of the feeling that we had after Miami.

“It was different because Miami was back and forth and the emotions of going into overtime, and it was close and everything, but just kind of the feel of it overall was that – and I think that you know that was a point in our season that our guys, they rallied after that game and we ended up making a run later in the season.

“So, we have high-character guys that will figure this thing out.”

Although figuring it out certainly is not a given, the team’s short history under Nagy is encouraging, and nothing happened Sunday to stop the Bears from still having a great season.

The Kansas City Chiefs suffered an even more demoralizing loss Sunday night, getting pounded worse physically than the Bears did and suffering it at home rather than almost 4,000 miles and six time zones away, as well.

Are you writing off the Chiefs?

That said, there clearly is work to do.

In their only true slugfests this season to date, if in fact the Bears earned a truly impressive majority decision over the Vikings – and they did – the Raiders scored a technical knockout, repeatedly sending the Bears to the mat.

What is so impressive about these Bears is they have as many remarkable athletes on the roster as almost any team in the league.

But are they physical enough? It is a challenge they certainly will be given over the next two weeks.

Nagy danced around the topic a bit Monday morning.

“For me, you have a lot of time to think through where you’re at, and for me, this game, when you do it the right way, when you coach, when you play, no matter what you [do] – it can be Little League baseball or say youth football – when you win your one-on-one battle, your chances of winning are high, high percentage.

“You’ve got to win your one-on-one battle – and that’s not just the offensive line, that’s everybody.

“Win your one-on-one battle. You win your one-on-one battle, and good things should happen.”

Nagy went right to the offensive line, I’m sure, because ongoing concerns even before Sunday start with the offense and usually point right to the running game and the quarterback.

“Offensively the numbers show – we all know and we all understand that we’re not playing where we need to be at. We need to be more productive.

“It’s inevitable that a defense that we’ve had the first four weeks of the season, there’s going to be a time when there’s a little struggle. That’s a credit to Oakland. But when is the offense going to step up and take over for that? That’s what we’re trying to get to where we’re more balanced – offense, defense, special teams.”

On the offensive line specifically, Nagy was clear there is work to do, but he also added, “We’ll talk as a staff and figure it out.

“But they’re good people that care. If you have that, that matters. They care. This isn’t something that they’re ... so we’ve just got to figure out why.”

Although he didn’t suggest lineup changes, Nagy also didn’t rule them out.

As for the quarterback, it will continue to be a hot button, but it couldn’t be much clearer now: The Bears need Mitch Trubisky healthy ASAP, but when that will be remains to be seen.

• Hub Arkush is executive editor of Pro Football Weekly. Write to him at harkush@profootballweekly.com, and follow him on Twitter @Hub_Arkush.

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