Seahawks at Bears: Is Matt Nagy’s team ready for prime time this time?

Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks

Both the Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears came up short last Sunday. Can Matt Nagy’s team bounce back after blowing a big lead last week?

It was Katy Perry that once sang “The One That Got Away.”

Of course, it’s safe to say that Chicago Bears’ head coach Matt Nagy were not in the mood to play “Name That Tune” after last Sunday night’s 24-23 loss at Lambeau Field to a hampered Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The prolific quarterback had been knocked out of the game in the first half with a knee injury. By the team he returned to the field, the Bears had opened up a 20-point advantage in the third quarter.

Then the unthinkable happened. The Pack came all the way back and Nagy’s debut as an NFL head coach was spoiled. Of course, he wound up being the norm in Week 1 as all seven new sideline leaders lost their first game of the season.

Meanwhile, Pete Carroll began his ninth year at the helm of the Seattle Seahawks and didn’t fare any better. The team underwent quite the transformation in the offseason. From the departures (for various reasons) of cornerback Richard Sherman, strong safety Kam Chancellor and defensive ends Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril. To changes at both offensive and defensive coordinator, as well as a new offensive line coach.

Last Sunday, it all added up to a tough 27-24 loss to a Denver Broncos’ team that won only five games in 2017. The Seahawks lost most of the battle against Vance Joseph’s club despite the narrow final score. Seattle was outgained 470-306 in total yards and permitted the Broncos to run for 146 yards. New Denver quarterback Case Keenum did throw three interceptions. But he also doomed Carroll’s defense to the tune of 329 yards and three scores. All told, the ‘Hawks pass rush produced only one sack.

On the other hand, quarterback Russell Wilson took his lumps…again. He threw for 298 yards and three scores. But he was also pressured into a pair of picks. The seven-year signal-caller was sacked six times as the Seattle running game produced only 64 yards. Broncos’ outside linebacker Von Miller totaled seven tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Which brings us to Chicago’s Khalil Mack. He made quite the splash on last week at Green Bay and was relentless in the first half. But he was really nowhere to be found after intermission. Was the 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year gassed? Did the lack of OTAs, training camp and preseason action catch up with the five-year defender? All good questions but certainly a moot point now. In any case, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will need to get more from the standout performer on Monday night.

So can and will the Chicago Bears make amends for the loss at Lambeau Field? This is still a young team with a rebuilt offense led by second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky. He’s surrounded by his share of weapons and the one that could come up big on Monday night will be running back Jordan Howard. Meanwhile, you can expect Mack and the rest of Nagy’s front seven to take their frustrations out on Wilson and the Seahawks’ porous offensive front.

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