It might sound corny to some and possibly pointless to others, but it's true.

In winning Thursday for the first time since beating the Raiders Oct. 10, the Bears did it for their coach.

They had been through essentially three days of hell, guessing whether Matt Nagy would be fired Thursday and all the accompanying mental doubt, because of a false report by Patch.com's Mark Konkol. There were reports Nagy had lost the locker room surfacing from the woodwork of the internet, and in the end they delivered an 18-play game-winning drive to beat Detroit 16-14.

"I mean, I'm not going to lie, it was tough for me," tight end Cole Kmet said. "A lot in your head after going right from Sunday to Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, then playing Thursday. There's a lot in your head. You don't know what’s true and what's not. That was difficult for me.

"You don't know what's going on. At the end of the day, as players, we kind of just hunkered down Wednesday night and put ourselves in a good minds."

Veterans were able to withstand the situation easier based on experience.

"I'm speaking for myself, I mean, I love Nagy, the way he approaches every day, so whatever the media is saying, I completely ignore it," outside linebacker Robert Quinn said.

Players credited Nagy with persevering, quarterback Andy Dalton with standing up to say a few words on Wednesday to refocus them, and board chairman George McCaskey for finally denying the report in a brief talk with them on Wednesday. Then they were able to get through it and focus on Detroit.

Kmet said the players told Nagy they were going to win it for him.

"Yeah, I think just our attitude towards it, I think Andy, you know, he came up and said some stuff," Kmet said. "I'm obviously not going to get into it, on Wednesday night, and I think just as we formed our mindset for this game and where we wanted to be at, kind of just blocking out distractions. That's just where it was.

"I think at the end of the day we just did this for ourselves, as players, as a team, with coaches involved and just the organization in general."

Nagy was moved to the brink of tears a few times in an emotional postgame talk.

"That group of guys in that locker room right now, players and coaches, I'll put them up against anybody," Nagy said. "I love them to death and they're freaking warriors, man. They know how to win.

"They're not losers. they know how to win and I appreciate that about them."

It's still a team mired in third in the NFC North at 4-7 with games against division-leading Arizona and Green Bay coming the next two weeks. They had just beat their opponent for the seventh time in eight games.

"There's a joy in that locker room, and they're allowed to have that," Nagy said. "They're going to have a great Thanksgiving today because they earned it and they fought like hell. They told me what they were gonna do and they did it. How cool is that?"

Players wanted to keep within the locker room the details of the messages from both Dalton and McCaskey.

"I think there's a lot that has gone on," Dalton said. "The most important thing is the guys in the locker room staying together through it all. Regardless of what's being reported, regardless of what's going on on the outside and stuff, there's still a lot of season left and for us, the focus is on winning games.

"That's the biggest thing for us is just doing everything we can to put our best foot forward and to make the most of the next one and that was today and we did that."

Something needed to be said by ownership after they let the false report fester. 

"I mean, it meant something," wide receiver Darnell Mooney said. "You know, we don't really see them often. I remember seeing them last year because of COVID."

Nagy had heard from ownership first, on Tuesday before the second practice of the day, and McCaskey denied the report he would be fired. The other part of the report was that Nagy already had been told he'd be fired, which obviously was false.

"I think everybody can understand that’s an internal discussion that we had," Nagy said. "But the biggest part of that discussion was that. The next part when you have that is now me making sure that we don't have too much of a distraction take away from practice, you know what I mean? From practice and everything you gotta do that day. It didn't. That's that. That's about what that was."

Nagy said McCaskey's talk to players came unsolicited.

"I thought it was really well-received," Nagy said.

In Nagy's mind, getting through this crisis was the result of an investment he made earlier.

"I've taken a lot of time and effort to build relationships over the 3 1/2 years I've been here for these moments," Nagy said. "Because what happens is, people try to take you down. They try to rip you apart. They think you're vulnerable."

Twitter: BearDigest@onFanNation

This article first appeared on Bear Digest and was syndicated with permission.

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