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Winning Was Better than a Bears TD

The team that can't usually score enough points was turning down points. Go figure.

Anyone who follows the Bears had to see the irony of the situation at the end of Thursday's 16-14 win over Detroit.

The Bears haven't been able to score enough touchdowns all year and here they were at the end of their Thanksgiving Day game against Detroit not only turning down a touchdown but hoping the Lions would not give them one.

It was almost laughable.

Coach Matt Nagy on Friday described the situation at game's end when the Bears were killing the clock as one rare case when he was elated to come away with a field goal in the red zone instead of a touchdown.

"We talk about it every week," Nagy said of the game-ending situation. "And we practice it and we talk about it every single week and it doesn't always happen.

"So, that's why it was good. And it's a risk. It's a risk. If you don’t make that field goal. I'm the one that has to go up that podium. That's a risk. Usually it ends up working for you."

The risk was driving down to the 4-yard line but then taking knees and leaving it to one second left so Cairo Santos could kick a chip-shot 28-yard field goal. 

But there are always bad snaps, bad holds, blocked kicks and then just misses. Scoring a touchdown in that situation to go up 20-14 seemed like a sound strategy, but would have allowed the Lions a last shot at a TD. And even without timeouts they would have had a shot. 

Considering the late-game failures of the Bears defense in the previous two games, it seemed a good percentage play to kill the clock since the Lions were out of timeouts.

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And then there was the chance the Lions would just stand up and let the Bears run into the end zone for a gimme-seven.

"Yeah, yeah, they could, knowing that they're out of timeouts," Nagy said. "It's a helpless feeling (for the defense) and defenses have calls in their playbook where they not only let you score, but they grab you and throw you in the end zone. You know?"

It's too bad the Bears can't bank that one away and bring it out to let a defense throw their ball carrier into the end zone in the future.

The Bears had first-and-goal at the 4 and Detroit would use its final timeout but Andy Dalton knelt down three straight times. When he did it, he gave up bigger yardage than Nagy was comfortable with on the first two downs, 3 and 2 yards.

"After a few more plays we were like, 'Damn, Andy, don't keep losing too many yards on these QB kneels,' " Nagy said. "I think it was first-and-goal at the 4 and it ended up being, we lost a total of I think 5 or 7 yards we lost total. But being at the 4 when that happened, we still felt pretty good about it."

The final 8 1/2-minute drive was 18 plays and the longest in terms of plays since Nagy became coach.

"Yeah, just a good mix of balance of run and pass, " he said. "I thought Bill (Lazor, offensive coordinator) did a good job of keeping that going. We had some nice runs from under center, the scramble that Andy had but just a good mix and then once you get to a part, you start seeing the clock tick down and you see their timeout situation and now you gotta start saying, 'OK, are we in our church mode?' which is where ... we end up doing what we did there at the end which is winning it on the field goal and not giving them the ball back. 

"So, there's discussions as the situations are going on as to when we get into that mode based off of their timeouts."

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