Two days before the Bears walked into a muggy, sticky trap at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, coach Matt Nagy was asked whether he was worried about his team being overconfident. He wasn’t. The Bears, he said, had proved adept at not getting too high or low.
“The first 12 to 24 hours after Week 1,” he conceded, “we were pretty low.”
After being crushed when Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers did his best Lazarus impersonation in the season opener, the Bears rattled off three consecutive victories. They’ll try to use their latest bizarre, unlikely defeat — a 31-28 overtime loss to the Dolphins on Sunday — as motivation.
It won’t be hard to get up for their opponent Sunday at Soldier Field: the Patriots.
“This is not a ‘Debbie Downer’ organization,” Nagy said Monday. “We’re a winning team. We lost that game. Life goes on. How are we going to get better?”
Debbie Downer, of course, is the “Saturday Night Live” character who would inject depressing factoids into the happiest environments, detailing North Korean train explosions while at Disney World and the scourge of feline AIDS at the Thanksgiving table.
Nagy gets a lot of credit for changing the attitude inside Halas Hall. That fabric will be tested again this week.
“When you go through tough losses, bad teams start pointing the finger, losing teams start pointing the finger,” Nagy said. “We don’t have any of that because we’ve got good people. We have good people, good players, good coaches. We try our best.
“I’m not making any promises. But I will say I have no concern at all that our team is going to jell and get even stronger. Down the road, with the Packers and now this game, we use it the right way. I think that’s a credit to our players and who they are.
“I saw [Sunday] night on the plane. They feel it. They’re hurt. But they’ll use it as fuel for getting better.”
Cornerback Kyle Fuller said the Week 1 loss will help the Bears this week — “It’s something that we’ve experienced, and it’ll make us better,” he said — while left tackle Charles Leno Jr. said they’ve proved their mettle.
“We saw what we can do after a loss,” Leno said after the game. “Everyone saw what we could do after a loss.”
Defensive end Akiem Hicks, though, said he didn’t use the loss to the Packers as fuel. Rather, he said, the Bears’ performance convinced him they were good.
He still believes that.
“I think [we have] a dominant defense [and are] approaching excellence on offense, and I think we have a really good team here,” Hicks said. “I can only speak for myself — the Packers game hurt, but it didn’t change my mindset about my team. Same with this [game]. Even more so. Because we fought. It was a fight.”