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Bears concerns: Macks health, fumbles, defense

Sports Xchange
16 Oct 2018, 07:21 GMT+10

Khalil Mack is injured, both of the Chicago Bears running backs lost fumbles and the infallible defense gave up 542 yards of offense Sunday against a backup quarterback.

Yet coach Matt Nagy is refusing to panic.

"This is not a Debbie Downer organization," Nagy said Monday at Halas Hall. "We're a winning team, we lost that game, life goes on, how're we going to get better?"

That was a question many in Chicago were asking themselves after the Bears squandered a 21-10 lead in the second half Sunday and eventually fell 31-28 to the Miami Dolphins.

One way might be better decision making by the head coach.

Nagy opted to play it conservatively and run on third down prior to putting kicker Cody Parkey out for a 53-yard overtime field goal try that went wide right.

"I'm a big boy," Nagy said. "I can handle the criticism."

The Bears faced a third-and-4 at Miami's 35-yard line and gave it to running back Jordan Howard, who was stopped for no gain.

"Hindsight is 20-20," Nagy said. "You pass the ball and get the first (down), and then who knows what goes on from there? In the end, I felt very comfortable with giving Cody Parkey a chance to make that field goal.

"And I'll say this: I have, depending on the situations, I have ultimate trust in him to make that."

Nagy's start in Chicago had been entirely positive, but a 3-2 mark with New England coming to town Sunday brought out the critics.

Nagy pointed out the Bears know how to handle tough losses. They had one in the opener against Green Bay and bounced back with three straight wins.

"When you go through tough losses, bad teams start pointing the finger," Nagy said. "Losing teams start pointing the finger.

"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."

Whether they'll have their best pass rusher against New England remains a question. Nagy said Mack will have the ankle injury evaluated the next two days by team medical personnel.

Mack twisted his ankle early in the game and continued playing after having it taped. The effect was obvious, as Mack was held without a sack for the first time this season. As a team, the Bears didn't have a sack after getting 18 their first four games.

"They (Miami) did a good job in regards to hitting guys that were open when they were open and then running after the catch -- that was huge part of this thing, being able to have the RAC yards," Nagy said. "So when you're not getting home (with the pass rush), and you're not getting to the quarterback, then you want to do your best to try and get your hands up and have some tipped balls. We didn't have many of those, so hopefully we can improve for next week."

Two short passes to Albert Wilson resulted in long touchdown plays and the Bears tackled poorly on each.

"I hope it's an aberration, but we'll discuss it and we make everybody accountable," Nagy said.

Mistakes proved big on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky threw a red-zone interception, Howard fumbled at the goal-line and running back Tarik Cohen fumbled near midfield after a reception with the Bears driving toward a possible winning score.

"We need to protect the football better," Nagy said. "We need to have better ball security and try to win those turnover margins."

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