(670 The Score) Bears coach Matt Nagy understood that nothing he would hear from the NFL regarding the officiating in Chicago's 29-27 loss at Pittsburgh on Nov. 8 would change the negative result.
But Nagy still wanted to have that discussion with the league, so he listened to explanations of crucial calls that were made or missed and how he and the Bears could learn from them. He submitted questions to the league and came away from the calls satisfied after what he called a "lengthy" conversation.
“I do appreciate their honesty going through it,” Nagy said.
The officiating was a point of controversy after the Bears committed 12 penalties for 115 yards in their loss to the Steelers on Monday Night Football.
Nagy declined to share the specifics of what the league told him in their discussions, but members of the NFL's officiating department privately acknowledged at least three missed calls or non-calls during the game, all of which went against the Bears, NFL Media reported Sunday. It was unclear whether that same acknowledgement occurred during the discussions with Nagy.
The NFL acknowledged wrongdoing in calling an illegal low block penalty on Bears right guard Daniels with 9:19 left in the third quarter, according to the report, a call that negated quarterback Justin Fields' one-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jimmy Graham. Two plays later, officials didn't flag a potential late hit by the Steelers on Fields, which would've set up first-and-goal for the Bears, who instead settled for a field goal. The league pointed to that as a missed call, according to the report.
The league also acknowledged multiple Steelers players were offsides on the 65-yard field-goal attempt by Bears kicker Cairo Santos on the final play of the game. Previously, the NFL publicly stood by a taunting call on Bears pass rusher Cassius Marsh on a sack on third-and-8 with 3:40 remaining in the game, a penalty that gave the Steelers an automatic first down and led to a key field goal for them. It's unclear what was said privately about that taunting call.
Nagy's focus after the conversation with league officials was about how the Bears can best move forward from the loss.
“The biggest thing to understand is our team knowing that I try to do everything I can for the why part, so that it doesn’t happen any more,” Nagy said. “Because we need to be better in that area, and that starts with me.
“The way I look at it is, ‘OK, how do we get better in that area? And what are the answers as to what they gave me?’ And now let’s move on and let’s be a better football team for it.”
The Bears (3-6) host the Ravens (6-3) on Sunday at Soldier Field.
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.