Matching Chicago Bears with Taylor Swift songs from Midnights

That’s right, we took each song from Taylor Swift’s new album, Midnights, and matched it with a member of the Bears.

We’re about at the halfway point of the 2022 NFL season and it’s been a long couple months for the Chicago Bears.

There have been the highs like the Week 1 shocking victory over the San Francisco 49ers, the dominating win against the New England Patriots, as well as Justin Fields’ emergence and the elite rushing attack.

There have also been low moments, such as the blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys, offensive line issues, defensive breakdowns, and even heartbreaking trades. It’s been so dramatic, Taylor Swift might as well write an album about it.

The superstar singer obviously isn’t going to do that, but she did recently release her latest album Midnights that has millions of people still obsessed with the music, storylines, and meaning of the songs. So why not put our own twist on it and see if we can match them up with the Bears?

That’s right, we took each song from Swift’s latest album and matched it up with a player or front office member based on the title and lyrics because actual football analysis can wait a day.

Just make sure you suspend your disbelief. After all, Swift’s songs are all basically focused on her dating life and don’t really delve into football. But let’s begin in chronological order.

Chiefs QB coach Matt Nagy details Patrick Mahomes’ growth as a pocket passer

#Chiefs QB coach Matt Nagy shared his thoughts on Patrick Mahomes’ ability to make spectacular plays inside and outside the pocket. | from @EdEastonJr

Patrick Mahomes has already accomplished more than most quarterbacks do in their entire careers, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. At only 27 years old, the former NFL MVP continues to refine his repertoire under his Kansas City Chiefs coaching staff.

Chiefs quarterback coach Matt Nagy returned to the team this offseason after several seasons as the head coach of the Chicago Bears. He was with Mahomes during his rookie season in 2017 and has seen growth in his skill set since.

One thing that Mahomes has always been good at is making plays out of the structure of the offense. Nagy shared his thoughts on Mahomes’ uncanny ability to make spectacular plays outside the pocket during Thursday’s press conference.

“No, that’s always been him from the whole way back to Texas Tech.” Said Nagy. “I mean, he was doing that there, so defensive coordinators – I know because I was a part of it – and I heard them talk that they do get scared to death when he’s outside of the pocket because he just makes so many plays happen, and he’s comfortable being outside the pocket.”

Mahomes has been known for his highlight plays outside of the pocket, but he’s shown improvement in his ability to hang in the pocket since Nagy last worked with him as a rookie. That’s something that the Chiefs’ QB coach is really pleased with.

“Inside the pocket is where he’s grown, and he’s doing great with his feet, his timing, getting his timing down with the routes and concepts of these new receivers,” said Nagy. “That I love too. We work on that every day, and there’s some games this year that he’s had where he’s been really good with ball security, pushing up, pushing out, but his eyes are staying second third level. They’re not going to the D-line, and that’s not easy to do. So, there’s a little part of this game that he’s really doing great with. Again, the beauty of Patrick Mahomes is he always wants to get better every single day. He does not take a day off, and that’s what I love most about him.”

We saw Mahomes manipulating the pocket last week against the Raiders, stepping up behind his interior offensive line and delivering strikes all over the field. The ability to be effective both inside and outside of the pocket opens up more possibilities for the team’s passing offense in the future. His commitment to improvement is one of the things that will make him one of the all-time greats at the position.

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First-year Bears head coaches have had success playing in Green Bay

Since 1999, Bears head coaches are 4-1 when playing the Packers in Green Bay. Can Matt Eberflus keep up the trend?

Chicago Bears fans are usually confident in their teams chances, no matter who the opponent is that week. Except when it comes to facing the Green Bay Packers. It’s been a one-sided affair for the better part of a decade with the Bears winning just three games against their bitter rival since 2010.

The results have been ugly to say the least, but when the Bears do find a way to win against Green Bay once every few years or so, it has come when they have a new head coach.

Since 1999 and not including current head coach Matt Eberflus, the Bears have employed five head coaches. Those coaches collectively went 4-1 against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field during their first season with the Bears, with most getting surprising wins to start their tenure off on the right foot. Here is how each of them fared.

The one play from 2022’s Bears preseason opener that showed Justin Fields’ development

One play from the Bears’ preseason opener against the Chiefs showed Justin Fields’ development, and had everybody talking.

We have gone over the struggles Justin Fields had in his rookie NFL season of 2021. We have also gone over the fact that more often than not, those struggles were advanced (if not outright caused) by former head coach and offensive “shot-caller” Matt Nagy. Now that Nagy is mercifully gone — he’s back with the Chiefs as their senior assistant and quarterbacks coach for whatever reason — Fields can develop his NFL game in a less hostile and more hospitable environment.

To replace Nagy as Fields’ primary accomplice, the Bears, under new head coach Matt Eberflus, hired ex-Packers quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Luke Getsy. We’ve also discussed the ways in which Getsy can give Fields half a chance to succeed, which would be at least 100% more than Nagy ever gave him. From a moving pocket, to play-action, to pre-snap motion, there are all kinds of things Getsy can add to Fields’ plate to help him see, and react to what he’s seeing, on the field.

In the Bears’ preseason opener against the Chiefs (go figure), Fields completed four of seven passes for 48 yards, no touchdowns, no interceptions, two sacks, and a passer rating of 78.3. Not a huge sample size, but Fields did look more comfortable for the most part. The sacks were caused to a degree by Fields reacting to open routes late, and he went touchdown-to-checkdown before he should have once in a while, but that’s part of the process. Fields has been debited by some as a “slow reader,” but that could be a function of the offense he ran at Ohio State, where plays took longer to develop at times.

The one play that got everyone in the Bears organization talking was Fields’ 19-yard completion to receiver Tajae Sharpe with 1:23 left in the first quarter. Sharpe ran up the boundary against cornerback Joshua Williams, and somehow brought this pass in against tight coverage. The throw from Fields was especially impressive, because safety Deon Bush was about to sack him on a blitz. Fields hung in the pocket, took his time, and let it fly.

Yeah, we saw that,” Eberflus said right after the Bears’ 19-14 win. “That was part of practice. We were letting him extend plays, throw the ball down the field, and I think you saw it there. He’s got great instincts. He’s an instinctual player, and he has to harness that and use that, and he’s doing that right now.”

Fields, who said that he changed the protection before the play based on the blitz, had this to say about the throw and catch.

“Yeah, just kind of gave [Sharpe] a signal out there and threw the ball up one on-one,” Fields said. “Of course preseason. you’re going to see a lot of man coverage, so just gave him a shot and he came down with it. He’s a great receiver, has great ball skills, has great routes, so I’m excited to see what he does for us this season for sure.”

Fields also discussed the adjustments to his timing this season, and how that can be helped by route concepts.

“I think the internal clock comes with of course plays, but also a route. I knew it was one-on-one the whole time, so I’d better not be holding on to the ball that long if I know I’m going there before the play starts. So I think some plays, you have to have that internal clock and just have that feel of the pocket to see where guys are coming from. Of course, if you have to escape you have to escape, but of course there’s always that internal clock going off in your head.”

Fields will have his second opportunity to show growth in the post-Nagy era when the Bears take on the Seahawks Thursday night.

Bears vs. Chiefs: Matt Nagy greets former players at Soldier Field

Former Bears HC Matt Nagy is back at Soldier Field, where he’s all smiles meeting with Justin Fields and David Montgomery.

The Chicago Bears are gearing up for the start of their preseason opener against the Kansas City Chiefs, where a familiar face greeted them in former head coach Matt Nagy.

Nagy has returned to Soldier Field for the first time since being fired back in January following a disappointing 6-11 season. But it was Nagy’s handling of hopeful franchise quarterback Justin Fields that probably had most to do with him getting the axe.

Nagy, the Chiefs’ new quarterbacks coach, was spotted back at Soldier Field, where he was all smiles greeting Fields and running back David Montgomery during pre-game.

All eyes — rather ears — will be on the Soldier Field crowd. After all, Nagy was the subject of boos and chants from the home fans during his frustrating final season.

So far, it seems to be going swimmingly.

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5 storylines to watch in Bears’ preseason opener vs. Chiefs

As the Bears gear up for their preseason opener against the Chiefs, here are a few storylines we’ll be keeping an eye on.

The Chicago Bears are hosting the Kansas City Chiefs for their preseason opener at Soldier Field, which marks the first live action of the season — even if it is only preseason.

There are no shortage of storylines to monitor heading into this contest, whether we’re talking about roster implications, the future of the team or the return of old friends.

As the Bears gear up for their preseason opener against the Chiefs, here are a few storylines we’ll be keeping an eye on.

Matt Nagy talks return to Chicago for Bears-Chiefs preseason opener

Former Bears HC Matt Nagy on returning to Chicago: “I don’t know how I’ll feel when I get out there.”

When the Chicago Bears open the preseason against the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday, they’ll welcome a familiar face in former Bears head coach — and current Chiefs quarterbacks coach — Matt Nagy.

Nagy was fired by the Bears organization, along with former general manager Ryan Pace, back in January after a disappointing 6-11 season. But, most notably, for his handling of rookie quarterback Justin Fields.

Now, Nagy will face off against his former team with what’s sure to be a vocal Soldier Field crowd, who made their feelings about Nagy perfectly clear last season.

When asked about his return to Chicago, Nagy seemed to downplay the situation, not making it about him. After all, there’s football to be played.

“It’s my professional job to make sure I step back and make sure it’s about we and not me,” he told reporters Tuesday. “I mean that when I say that, but that’s hard sometimes. And so, when you get there, I’m so used to being on the home side, right, on the home sideline, in the home locker room coming out, that’s different. I don’t know how I’ll feel when I get out there, but I’m here for this team and these guys and I built great relationships with everyone there. But it’s the preseason, too, so we’re going to go out there and have some fun.”

Following an impressive 12-4 season in 2018, things gradually got worse for Nagy’s Bears in the three years that followed. That included leading one of the NFL’s worst offenses, where Mitch Trubisky, Nick Foles, Andy Dalton nor Justin Fields couldn’t find success. Still, Nagy said he doesn’t regret his four years with the Bears.

“I wouldn’t change anything of those four years experiences,” Nagy said. “I’d change a lot of what happened of wishing we won more and could’ve done more but I learned a lot and that part I wouldn’t change. I think I got to be able to self-reflect on where I went wrong and how I could’ve been better. But I built a ton of great relationships with a lot of great people, starting with Mrs. (Virginia Halas) McCaskey, George McCaskey, Ted Phillips, Ryan Pace, and so many great players and coaches. Those will last forever; those aren’t going to leave.

“Four years is gone but it didn’t end how we wanted it to and there was disappointment, there was discouragement but in all that said, I know I’m not defeated. I know those other players, coaches, and people aren’t defeated, and we just got to be better from it.”

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Matt Nagy says Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes has grown as a leader

#Chiefs QB coach Matt Nagy shared his thoughts on Patrick Mahomes’ growth as a leader since his rookie season. | from @EdEastonJr

The Kansas City Chiefs are preparing for their first preseason game this Saturday against the Chicago Bears. The game marks the first dress rehearsal for rookies and veteran players trying to make the team.

Saturday’s game will also be a return for Matt Nagy, who spent the last four seasons as the head coach of the Bears. Nagy coached Patrick Mahomes during his rookie season while he was backing up Alex Smith and learning the pro game. In the four years that Nagy was away in Chicago, Mahomes has done a lot of growing.

Nagy shared with reporters on Tuesday his thoughts on the area where Mahomes has grown the most since his rookie season.

“Yeah, I’ll tell you what, it is so neat to see his growth of where he’s at and what he’s done,” Nagy explained. “So, number one, he’s been through four years of a lot of wins, whether it’s the Pro Bowl, Super Bowl, that Super Bowl MVP, four Pro-Bowls, etc., a lot of wins. When you walk into that room for the first time, and you see him in a meeting room, and he’s sitting there having four different conversations, three of them are football; one’s off to the side on something else, you see his growth, his leadership.”

Nagy served as the quarterback’s coach and then later offensive coordinator for the Chiefs from 2013-2017. He would become the head coach for the Bears in 2018 before eventually returning to Kansas City this offseason as a senior offensive assistant & quarterbacks coach.

Nagy has noticed the quiet confidence that Mahomes shows both on the field and in the meeting room. He’s come away impressed with the way that he carries himself after all of the success that he’s seen in his young career.

“When he’s out here on the football field, it’s just wild to see what type of leader he is,” Nagy said. “He’s rare. In that time that I had, couple months after I got fired, I was able to read a book called ‘Relentless.’ It talks about being great leaders and being somebody that can just be great in the moment, and he has so much confidence, and when he walks in the room, results occur because of that confidence every day in practice. That’s rare, you don’t come across that very much, and he makes me a better coach because of that, he makes his teammate better players, and it’s just special.”

The reunion of Nagy with Mahomes could be the full circle moment for the Chiefs to unlock another level of the former league MVP. The leadership aspect of Mahomes skillset has improved over the years and it has been apparent to those in attendance at training camp too.

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Mitch Trubisky explains how former Bears coaches restricted him

Mitch Trubisky reflected on what went wrong with Bears: ‘In Chicago, they wanted me to play the coaches’ game.’

Mitch Trubisky’s struggles are well-documented in Chicago. The former second-overall pick had a bumpy four seasons with the Bears, including a front-row seat to Matt Nagy.

After a stop in Buffalo, where he got to learn from Josh Allen and Brian Daboll, Trubisky now finds himself competing for the starting quarterback job with the Steelers.

Looking back, Trubisky reflected on what went wrong in Chicago — specifically how he felt restricted by the coaches, namely Nagy.

“Even if you got a completion [in Chicago], I felt like sometimes it wasn’t necessarily what the coach wanted,” Trubisky told Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. “They put you in a box a little bit more than you wanted to be, and I think that restricts you as a player.”

As Bears fans know, Nagy was adamant in running his offense — fitting the players to the scheme and not the other way around. It’s why his offense didn’t work with Trubisky, Nick Foles, Andy Dalton or Justin Fields.

But it was a completely different situation that Trubisky walked into with the Bills. Trubisky saw a coaching staff that built an offense around the strengths of the quarterback, something he had to demand in his final season with the Bears.

“The difference between my experience in Chicago and what I saw in Buffalo is they allow Josh (Allen) to go out there and play his game,” Trubisky said. “In Chicago, they wanted me to play the coaches’ game. Call it whatever you will, that’s just how it felt to me.”

It’s not the first criticism that Nagy and his coaching staff has received, nor will it likely be the last. But it certainly makes you feel better about the position that Trubisky — and current Bears quarterback Justin Fields — are in without Nagy at the reins.

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Bears’ Darnell Mooney details locker room vibe during ‘brutal’ 2021 season

Darnell Mooney described the Bears locker room vibe last season when the team was continuously losing, and it was as bad as you’d expect.

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During the final year of Matt Nagy’s tenure with the Chicago Bears, it became apparent that he wouldn’t be Chicago’s head coach beyond 2021. But there were questions if a move would come mid-season, especially given there were some difficult outings during the 6-11 season.

Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney described the locker room vibe last season when the team was continuously losing, and it was just as bad as you’d expect.

“You could definitely feel the energy a lot of guys just having that time like, ‘Let’s just get this over with. It’s getting brutal out here, just continuing losing,'” Mooney told Red Line Radio. “It’s definitely hard to have the mindset going into next week, ‘My god, we just keep losing.'”

At one point, the Bears had two losing streaks of five and three games, including some rough outings against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens, where Chicago lost to backup quarterback Tyler Huntley.

Mooney was also asked about the infamous Cleveland Browns game in Week 3, where Justin Fields was sacked nine times in one of the Bears’ worst offensive performances in franchise history.

“I’ve never been a part of that situation ever,” Mooney said, acknowledging that it was a rough contest.

That game set the tone for what would be a brutal 2021 season, where both Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace were fired following the regular-season finale.

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