Preseason Miscellany: Bears Hand Matt Nagy Yet Another Loss at Soldier Field

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Preseason Miscellany: Bears Hand Matt Nagy Yet Another Loss at Soldier Field

Chicago Bears

Did Ryan Poles win the revenge game against his former employer? Or was it Matt Nagy falling to his former team in his revenge game? However you want to spin it, the Bears won their preseason opener by a score of 19-14. Matt Eberflus is 1-0 as a head coach. And Matt Nagy saw a familiar refrain of failing to score in the second half. The more things change, the more they stay the same (I guess).

  • Nagy sure was yukking it up on the sidelines after Patrick Mahomes diced the Bears defense to the tune of 11 plays, 72 yards, and a touchdown. Mahomes is going to do that to a bunch of teams this year, so it doesn’t necessarily bother me to my core that he did it to this new-look Chicago defense in the preseason’s first drive. But that it came after a 3-and-out for the Bears offense that went for minus-4 yards had me flashing back to lat year. For as much as we yammer on about the offense being a work in progress in Chicago, we can say the same about the D. Especially until Roquan Smith comes back.
  • Did you know that the Bears were 10-14 at home over the final three years of Nagy’s time in Chicago? Well, now you do. It really puts it into perspective how fortunate they were to have just one losing season from that final three. Good, competitive teams win more than their fair share of home games. The Bears didn’t do enough winning as a whole under Nagy. But the underperformance on the home turf is no dang good.
  • This Justin Fields pass to Darnell Mooney is something I expect to see plenty of in 2022 (and beyond):
  • In addition to it being a stellar pitch-and-catch, Mooney’s route-running was delightful. And from the slot, too? It has been interesting to see the Bears dabble more with Mooney in the slot. This could be a new way to get him into advantageous matchups and into spots where he can leverage his traits against lesser corners inside. You know? The same way other teams have done to the Bears in recent years. If anyone knows the joys of deploying that strategy, it should be new Bears Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy (whose Packers bullied Chicago DBs by putting Davante Adams in the slot).
  • Worth noting: One fantasy site tracking player usage had Mooney down for being in the slot on 32.6 percent of offensive snaps. Maybe that number goes up this year. Perhaps not into Cooper Kupp range (52.4%), but somewhere in an area where it helps the Bears offense get into gear.
  • Unfortunately, it wasn’t all pretty for the first-team offense:
  • In life, sometimes you’re the dog and other times you’re the hydrant. And in this specific instance, Michael Schofield was the hydrant. But that’s going to happen in the NFL. The other team has good players who get paid well, too. So I won’t try to turn this 12-second clip into a major referendum on the state of the Bears’ offensive line. With that being said, I’m looking forward to seeing how Schofield bounces back from that one.
  • Speaking of bouncing back, it was nice to see Dazz Newsome rebound from muffing a punt to do this:
  • Newsome can carve himself out a role as this team’s top punt returner if he can prove to also provide some down-the-depth-chart receiver depth. But mishandling a punt try won’t help his cause. That the Bears quickly turned to Dante Pettis felt like a wake-up call. But I’d say Newsome answered it. Stay tuned for that position battle as it heats up.
  • Not to be lost in the receiver shuffle, Tajae Sharpe made a nifty grab:
  • Player like Sharpe, Pettis, and Equanimeous St. Brown have had various levels of success at previous stops before coming to Chicago. That they were never able to build on those successes and carry them for the entirety of seasons is why they’re with the Bears and not the original team that drafted them. But that doesn’t mean someone can’t unexpectedly turn in a solid season and put themselves on the map. All you really need is an opportunity.
  • On the other side of the ball, it was a treat watching the rookies ball out:
  • Leo Chenal got all the draft buzz after his career at Wisconsin, but Jack Sanborn is no slouch. Considering how wide open the linebacker position looks to be right now, Sanborn could climb his way onto the season-opening 53-player roster with a solid showing in training camp and the preseason. Getting camp’s first interception of Fields and snagging one in the preseason opener is a nice way to get noticed. That it turned into the team’s first offensive TD (scored by yet another rookie – Trestan Ebner) is a cherry on top.

In the end, I don’t want to take *TOO* much away from this game. But seeing the Bears win with my own two eyes was a fun way to spend my Saturday. Carrying positives into next week’s game against the Seahawks would make me happy. Heck, rolling the good things from Saturday’s game into Monday’s training camp practice would be a joy. See ya then!

Author: Luis Medina

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