SEATTLE — The hard reality no one with the Bears wanted to hear after a thrilling rally to beat the Seahawks is that the victory didn’t mean anything in the big picture.
It didn’t cover up any of the multitude of missteps that led to this wasted season, and it didn’t change a thing about coach Matt Nagy’s fate. That’s the preface to any discourse on the Bears’ 25-24 victory in the snow Sunday.
‘‘No,’’ Nagy affirmed. ‘‘Right.’’
But it was a feel-good day for a man who deserved one and hasn’t had many since 2018. Nagy the coach has been disappointing, but Nagy the man has tried relentlessly — and mostly futilely — to fix the Bears and has remained resolutely optimistic in the face of dispiriting results.
It’s OK to stay entrenched in your opinion of Nagy but still be happy for him to get a break from the miserable monotony of losing. He gave Chicago a lot to celebrate in his first season, so he can have this one.
Hear him out one last time.
‘‘We all have to have a little dignity and pride in what we do,’’ said Nagy, who at 33-30 is assured of finishing his Bears tenure with a winning record. ‘‘[Being on] a team that has a losing record isn’t easy, but you’ve gotta be able to persevere, you’ve gotta fight and you have to be able to give it everything you have and have no regrets.
‘‘When you lose, it’s really freaking hard. . . . Right now, the only thing I’m proud and happy about is for those players in that locker room to be able to enjoy that win. They deserve it. For the coaches, too. For me, I’m just proud to be a part of it.’’
It was a triumph for Nagy, who was down to third-string quarterback Nick Foles because of injuries and was missing nine players because of the coronavirus. That list included receiver Allen Robinson, defensive lineman Akiem Hicks and top cornerback Jaylon Johnson.
Things looked predictable and familiar as the Seahawks controlled most of the game until the Bears’ defense stifled some scoring opportunities in the fourth quarter and created an opening at the end.
When the Bears got the ball at their own 20 with 2:56 left and the Seahawks ahead 24-17, Nagy already knew he would go for the victory if he got the chance.
‘‘We knew the play, we knew everything,’’ he said of anticipating a two-point conversion.
Sure enough, Foles led an improbable touchdown drive that he capped with a 15-yard pass to tight end Jimmy Graham, who did what he always does by boxing out his defender and putting a vise grip on the ball, with 1:07 left.
After that, Nagy’s two-point call was so good that even though the Seahawks played it well by eliminating first option Darnell Mooney, Damiere Byrd was standing open in the back of the end zone for what felt like forever before Foles fired across his body for the lead.
Nagy made all the right moves at the right times. It felt a lot like 2018. It’s too bad he hasn’t been able to keep it up.
‘‘Coach Nagy’s an amazing coach and even a better person,’’ running back David Montgomery said. ‘‘I feel like everybody kind of gets this weird, bad depiction of who he is. But he’s also actually a great guy and a great coach.’’
Fine, but he also has done a lot of losing. The Bears’ collapse in the last three seasons isn’t some misfortune that beset Nagy; he and general manager Ryan Pace engineered it. They both need to go for the organization to begin the hard work of a full rebuild.
As good as it felt, this victory shouldn’t buy Nagy a single extra day. Any serious organization wouldn’t let emotions stand in the way of its standards.
Most likely, however, the Bears won’t fire anybody Monday, regardless of it marking the start of the early window to interview assistants on other teams for head-coaching vacancies. They’re not ready to make use of that because it’s unclear who will be running the team going forward.
Meanwhile, the perpetually laughable Jaguars are getting the jump on them.
The prevailing assumption is that Nagy is getting fired in two weeks, but Pace’s future is blurry despite his 47-64 record and various personnel errors. Oh, yeah, he’s also the one who hired Nagy.
But Pace might survive and get a chance at what surely will be a multiyear rebuild. There’s even speculation he might be promoted to a role such as president of football operations — a Houdini-like escape — with a new GM reporting to him.
That sounds impossible until you remember it’s the Bears.
Nagy didn’t worry about any of that as he cherished what might be his last great moment with the Bears. The end is coming, and he has known that for a long time. But it was a nice reprieve for him to push that gloomy inevitability aside for a day.