DETROIT – No matter what cliche you use, it does fit when it comes to the final 18 minutes of the Bears’ season opener on Sunday.
Indeed, the team never quit, kept fighting, and saved their best for last in a thrilling 27-23 victory over the Lions at Ford Field.
Down 23-6 entering the fourth quarter, the Bears scored 21 unanswered points to snag their first opening day victory since the 2013 season.
“For all of us, these type of wins are the ones your remember and they can really help you get the season going the right way,” said Nagy of the 17-point comeback victory. “You look at the other end of it, if you don’t get this wind, what to do we all do? We dwell what happened in the first quarter, second quarter, and really part of the third.”
Now the team can reflect on some impressive stats thanks to their comeback, making it one of the better finishes in recent memory.
This is the Bears’ biggest fourth quarter rally since September 14, 2014 against the 49ers in Santa Clara. Down 20-7 entering the fourth quarter, Jay Cutler helped the team to 21-straight points in the final 15 minutes to give the Bears a 28-20 win
Sunday was also the first time the team scored 21 points in the fourth since later in that 2014 season, when the Bears also got three touchdowns against the Cowboys in a loss at Soldier Field.
It’s the first time in five years that the team has rallied from ten or more points down in the fourth quarter to win. They last did so against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on October 11, 2015, rallying from a 17-6 deficit to win 18-17. Oddly enough, current Bears kicker Cairo Santos missed a potential game-winning kick for Kansas City in the closing moments.
One could say it’s the most thrilling comebacks since the team’s memorable rally against the Cardinals on October 14, 2016 during a Monday night game in Glendale, Arizona. Down 23-3 late in the third quarter, the Bears also scored 21 unanswered to come home with a victory, doing so with two defensive touchdowns and Devin Hester punt return score.
For now, however, Nagy’s trying to take the good and the bad from the result, looking at all four quarters instead of his team’s best.
“This win shows us a couple of things: It shows we can handle adversity as a team. It shows that we stick together, which we’ve already checked that one off, we did that last year,” said Nagy. “But it also shows there are some things we need to get better at. So we’re not gonna let this win deodorize any of the stuff on offense, defense, or special teams that wasn’t good.”
But the rare rally does make watching the video on Monday a little easier to do.
See more on the Bears on Chicago Football Weekly with Jarrett Payton and Lauren Magiera on Saturday nights during the season at 6 PM on WGN-TV.