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Bears’ defense on OT: ‘It’s not OK to be human’

The Bears’ defense allowed the game-winning field goal in overtime Sunday. But coach Matt Nagy wasn’t ready to blame his defense, which has carried his team all year.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees throws against the Bears on Sunday.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees throws against the Bears on Sunday.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Bears’ defense allowed the game-winning field goal in overtime Sunday. But coach Matt Nagy wasn’t ready to blame his defense, which has carried his team all year.

“We feed off of our defense,” Nagy said. “Let’s face the facts: That’s who we are, that’s who this team is. We feed off how our defense does and I’ll never question or get on those guys in regards to what I think they’re doing or not doing. I’m proud of them.”

The game wouldn’t have gone to overtime, though, if the defense had made earlier stops. With 58 seconds left in the first half, the Bears defense looked elite — so good, in fact, that Nagy took a timeout before the Saints faced third-and-13, hoping to get a stop — and the ball back.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw to Alvin Kamara for 12 yards to get to the Bears’ 48. On fourth-and-1, Kamara ran left for seven yards. Five plays later, Jared Cook caught a 16-yard touchdown pass with three seconds left.

“It happened, so we can’t dwell on that,” inside linebacker Roquan Smith said. “At the end of the day it was about coming out in the second half and try to do better than the first half.”

The touchdown started a cascade — the Bears allowed 20 points over five Saints drives. They didn’t get much help. The Saints kicked field goals on their first two drives of the second half after getting the ball at the Bears’ 16 and 39, respectively, after a 42-yard punt return and a Nick Foles interception.

After failing on fourth down on the next drive, the Saints marched 64 yards for a touchdown.

The overtime field goal, though, still; burned.

“We’re human beings,” defensive lineman Akiem Hicks said. “But when it comes to crunch time, it’s not OK to be human. You’ve got to be different. And we understand that.”