Something must change with the Chicago Bears, and it seems as if head coach Matt Nagy is at the top of that list.
The days of the promising young coach leading his team and top-ranked defense to a 12-4 record and a division title in his first season in 2018 seem to be forgotten among Bears fans — and rightfully so.
The Bears followed up that season with a mediocre 8-8 record and have slipped to 5-6 this season.
They are currently on a five-game losing streak, and their situation with their quarterback and their defense don’t seem to be getting better any time soon.
It is often easy to use the head coach as the scapegoat for everything going wrong within an organization, so the question begs to be asked:
Will firing Matt Nagy solve the Bears’ issues?
The Bears ranked 9th in the NFL in points scored and were the top-ranked defense in points allowed in Nagy’s first season at the helm.
Since then, they have ranked 29th in both 2019 and 2020 in points scored.
While the offense has had a massive drop-off, the defense has only slightly tapered off from its dominant 2018 season (the year they acquired Khalil Mack via trade).
They ranked 4th in 2019 in points allowed and are currently ranked 8th in 2020.
Those defensive rankings are nothing to sulk about, which puts most of the blame on the offense.
#DaBears defense has allowed 18 TDs (ranked 1st)
The offense has scored 18 TDs (30th)
Defense & Special Teams has chipped in another 2 TDs scored.
So the Bears defense has essentially made opponents offense look like the Bears offense, with a TD Differential of +2 (16th).
— Butkus Stats & Analytics (@ButkusStats) November 27, 2020
They rank last in the league in rushing attempts, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns.
The decline in the run game started last season when they ranked 20th in rushing attempts, 27th in rushing yards, and 28th in rushing touchdowns after ranking 6th, 11th, and 7th in those categories in Nagy’s first season.
It is safe to assume that this decline is due to the quarterback being utilized much less in the run game, which brings up the next point.
Let’s face it: Mitchell Trubisky is not going to be the quarterback for the Chicago Bears next season.
They signed Nick Foles to a 3-year $24 million dollar contract in the offseason and benched Trubisky three games into a season in which they started 3-0.
At first, many blamed Trubisky for the Bears’ woes. He was a running quarterback who struggled with accuracy in the pocket.
As the Bears made the transition to a more traditional pocket passer in Nick Foles, the passing game has not necessarily made huge strides putting Nagy in the spotlight for the Bears’ troubles at quarterback.
Could it be that the two quarterbacks on the roster just simply aren’t capable of leading a successful NFL franchise?
Or could it be that the head coach is not capable of developing a franchise quarterback?
How after 3 years in the #NFL and 5 weeks of sitting out can this still happen?
To the coach and the player-you either allow it or you coach it. @ChicagoBears this!! #NFLGamepass pic.twitter.com/85iZAdnzK2
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) December 2, 2020
With two quarterbacks both struggling to lead the team to wins, it is difficult not to at least ponder the latter.
Can I Speak to a (General) Manager?
The head coach of an NFL franchise should not be placed on the hot seat before the team’s general manager is at least considered to take that seat instead.
Ryan Pace has certainly made some good moves for the team such as trading for Khalil Mack, signing Allen Robinson, and drafting Tarik Cohen in the fourth round, but there is one particular move that he cannot defend.
Trading up in the 2017 draft to select Trubisky number 2 overall is the type of move that can lose a GM his job.
Pace has at least one year left with the team after signing a 3-year extension in 2018, but will the Bears hold him accountable for the Trubisky draft and the Foles signing and cut ties with him a year early?
Or will they remember him as the 2018 Executive of the Year?
His seat is hot, but maybe not as hot as Nagy’s.
Let It Go! Let It Go!
The Bears will certainly make some changes in the off-season, and a switch at head coach looks to be necessary.
Nagy’s frustrations with his team were evident on Monday after a bad loss to the Packers saying,
“. . .if you’re catching 10 balls after practice, go catch 20. If you’re a guy that’s watching three hours of video in one night, go watch four. If you’re not getting enough sleep, then get more sleep.”
It appears that both Nagy and the Bears organization will get more sleep if they part ways this offseason.