Emma: Matt Nagy, Bears get a win they desperately needed


(670 The Score) During the lowest points of his tenure as head coach and toughest losing streaks his Bears have faced, Matt Nagy has often pointed toward just winning that next game.

That took on a different tone during the longest short week of Nagy’s tenure, one in which he was left to wonder about his job security while working to keep his Bears together. All Nagy and his team could do was worry about getting this win over the lowly Lions.

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It’s why Nagy seemed so elated when kicker Cairo Santos booted the game-winning 28-yard field goal through the uprights at the buzzer Thursday at Ford Field. The Bears (4-7) snapped a five-game losing streak by earning a 16-14 win against the Lions in an ugly Thanksgiving Day showcase that Nagy desperately needed.

On Tuesday, a report from Patch claimed Nagy had been informed he would be fired following the game Thursday. The Bears stayed silent publicly, leaving Nagy to fend for himself Tuesday. On the WBBM pregame show Thursday, general manager Ryan Pace finally called the report "inaccurate," but the team hasn’t offered assurances to Nagy's future as six regular-season games remain. His future in Chicago remains uncertain.

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Nagy has felt the pressure to win. "Fire Nagy" chants have been heard at Soldier Field and even Cary-Grove High School in the past week. But Nagy was blindsided by the report that Thursday would mark his final game leading the Bears. He met with ownership Tuesday, the busiest day of a short week of preparation. Despite Bears ownership telling him and players the report was false, Nagy shouldn’t have felt safe about his job security with a loss to the winless Lions.

The Bears then overcame their own inconsistencies – with plenty of favors from Lions coach Dan Campbell and Detroit – to pull through on the leg of Santos.

The Bears won despite posting just 16 points. They had 378 yards of offense, including only 68 rushing yards against the NFL’s 31st-ranked run defense. The defense held strong despite the loss of star linebacker Roquan Smith (hamstring) in the second quarter. And Santos responded after leaving a 53-yard field-goal attempt well short during the third quarter.

By no means was this win a referendum on Nagy’s future or the state of these Bears. It didn’t cool down his hot seat or alter the perception of the team. With six games remaining in the regular season, the best hope for Nagy to return in 2022 might well be finishing with a seven-game winning streak.

On Thursday, Nagy and the Bears simply got the win they so badly wanted and needed. Now it’s on to the next game.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.