It’s easy to play coulda, shoulda, woulda when looking back to the past— especially in sports. One play, one drive, one moment becomes highlighted over the entire course of a game to explain why a team was able to clinch a heroic win, or why a team suffered a gut-wrenching loss. For the Bears that moment was Cody Parkey’s missed field goal at the end of their 2018 Wild Card round loss to the Eagles.
Now, three years later, Matt Nagy said he believes things would’ve gone very differently that postseason if not for that one play.
“We felt like we were going to win the Super Bowl,” Nagy told Frank Thomas on NBC Sports Chicago’s “Hangin’ With the Hurt.” “You felt it, we were going to win the Super Bowl. The Rams went to the Super Bowl that year, and we got after the Rams pretty good at Soldier Field, 15-6. It was a good football game. And it didn’t happen.”
Despite the sour ending, that season doesn’t leave a bad taste in Nagy’s mouth. In fact he appreciates the entire season as a foundational learning experience for both himself and his players.
“It was special,” Nagy said. “I’ll never forget— I should say I’ll always remember. I think the biggest thing when I got there, I realize that the atmosphere, the environment, the building, there was a little bit of a mindset of, there wasn’t really a belief in how to win, or an understanding of what it takes to win. Once we won a few games, they started believing in what we were teaching… when you’ve got belief in your teammates and coaches it’s tough to stop. You might not be the best player on the field all the time, every position… but when you do it together it’s hard to stop.”
Nagy also says that going through the successes of 2018, and the disappointing 2019 and 2020 seasons have set the Bears up for success now.
“Everyone talks about the field goal and the double doink, but that right there is motivation. Now we’re at a point where we know, we understand now going into Year 4, what we have in front of us. So we’re ready to roll.”