Nagy sticks with Foles, play-calling duties after Rams loss
By Andrew Seligman
Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy is sticking with quarterback Nick Foles over Mitchell Trubisky and intends to keep calling plays on offense at least for now.
He made that clear Tuesday, a day after an ugly 24-10 loss to the Rams. The Bears’ poor performance at Los Angeles added more fuel to the idea that their sparkling record was more of a mirage than a reflection of how good they are.
But if changes are coming, there won’t be one behind center.
“We have a lot of confidence and I have a lot of confidence in Nick right now with where he’s at,” he said. “Again, this is a process for us to work though, and it’s not just one person. It’s really not.”
The Bears (5-2) fell out of the NFC North lead with their first road loss. And their quarterback had a difficult time with the offensive line getting overwhelmed.
Foles completed 28 of 40 passes for 261 yards without a touchdown. He was sacked four times — twice by former Bears linebacker Leonard Floyd — and threw two interceptions.
Too often, Foles was unable to step into his throws with defenders bearing down on him. But Nagy dismissed the idea of going back to the more mobile Trubisky, who started the first three games before getting benched.
“In regards to a mobile quarterback, I’m not so sure that that’s the answer with that, with what we’re talking about, with the drop-back of a quarterback and the tackle situation,” Nagy said.
The Bears are averaging a league-low 84.1 yards rushing, and rank 29th in total yards per game and 27th in scoring (19.7 points).
Clearly, they have a wide range of issues. When it comes to who’s calling plays, Nagy is open to handing off those duties. But for now, he is staying the course.
“Right now, where we’re at, that’s not where we think it’s at,” Nagy said. “But at the same point in time, I’ll always continue each week to look at it. I’ll say this, too. When you’re in a little bit of a rut like we are, a lot of bit of a rut like we are right now, you have to look at everything.”
The defense. By no means was it a great night, with the Bears allowing a season-high 161 yards rushing and 371 yards in all. But the defense produced Chicago’s lone touchdown, when Eddie Jackson returned a fumble 8 yards in the fourth quarter.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
The offensive line. The line continues to be a big issue for the Bears. And they don’t appear to have any real solutions on the bench. Unless they bring in outside help, any improvement will have to come from within.
TE Cole Kmet. The second-round draft pick from Notre Dame is playing his way into a bigger role. He caught a touchdown in the win at Carolina last week, and he had a neat grab on Monday night. With Foles throwing across his body, Kmet turned, leaped and hauled in a 38-yard pass over Justin Hollins along the left sideline.
“He’s making plays,” Nagy said. “There’s a trust element there I think you’re starting to really see and it’s growing, and when you have a ball thrown your way when you’re absolutely covered and you make a play, that’s neat to see.”
PR Ted Ginn Jr. The 35-year-old Ginn simply hasn’t been the steady hand the Bears needed once Tarik Cohen tore his ACL in Chicago’s win at Atlanta in Week 3. Against the Rams, he looked helpless.
Ginn did not run one back as Johnny Hekker buried the Bears inside the 10 on all five of his punts. He has five returns for 24 yards since Cohen went down. And with just three receptions for 40 yards, he’s not giving the Bears much on offense, either.
Center Cody Whitehair injured his calf in the second half, though Nagy said after the game he thought Whitehair was OK.
14 — The 14-point loss was the Bears’ most lopsided this season and only their fourth by double digits since Nagy took over in 2018. They also lost 17-7 to the Rams last season.
The Bears host Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.