Matt Nagy Goofed by Not Getting Jordan Howard More Touches Last Night

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Matt Nagy Goofed by Not Getting Jordan Howard More Touches Last Night

Chicago Bears

The Bears emphasized the importance of getting the ball in their playmakers’ hands at every turn in the offseason. But on several key 3rd-and-short plays, the team went away from Jordan Howard (who averaged 5.5 yards per carry) and it turned out to be costly – especially in the second half.

Howard received just 13 touches in the second half of last night’s loss, despite the fact that when the ball was in his hands, he averaged six yards per touch. He finished the game with 107 scrimmage yards (82 rushing yards and 25 receiving yards on five catches). That’s a player who needs the ball more often. Plain and simple.

There was probably a sense of deja vu among some Bears fans, when the team coughed up a 20-0 lead before a demoralizing 24-23 loss to the Packers. And not just because we’ve seen Aaron Rodgers pull out devil magic at Lambeau Field before.

This game followed a similar script to Matt Nagy’s final game as the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator in 2017. In that one, Kansas City jumped out to a big lead, but watched it slowly (and then more quickly) evaporate, as Nagy’s play-calling went just wrong enough for the Titans to come-from-behind and win. Brett broke down Nagy’s play-calling from that contest – which featured Kareem Hunt’s decrease in second-half touches and the team’s flummoxing decision to steer away from giving the league’s leading rusher more opportunities – and that’s essentially what happened last night.

But at least Nagy owned up to it back in January, saying something that is worth remembering today: “I called every single play in the second half. I stand by it. I promise you I’m going to learn from it.” Nagy called the experience a “failure” and came off as his own harshest critic back in January when he was introduced as the team’s head coach. But now he’ll actually have to learn from it.

Fast forward to Monday’s press conference (which you can watch below), Nagy said all the right things about looking back and hoping the experience was more helpful than hurtful moving forward. But he also said the team needs to create a mentality to finish games strong. Good teams will follow the lead of a good coach. This is where Nagy needs to set an example for his team to follow. Talk about, then be about it. That’s the next step the first-year head coach has to take to get this team back moving in the right direction.



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.