Matt Nagy delivered one of the greatest turnarounds in Chicago Bears history. He inherited a 5-11 team with an erratic young quarterback and completely revamped the offensive roster. All while luring Vic Fangio back as defensive coordinator. The team came out firing in 2018, winning 12 games and the NFC North title.
The team jumped from 29th to 9th in scoring while Mitch Trubisky had the highest passer rating for a Bears quarterback in a single season ever. This earned him recognition as a Pro Bowl alternate. If not for a missed field goal by Cody Parkey, Nagy also would’ve been the first Bears head coach ever to win a playoff game in his first season.
This success was enough to win him NFL Coach of the Year. Yet, per usual, any connection to the Bears gets a man woefully underappreciated by the national media. Elliot Harrison of NFL.com proved that when he placed Nagy 14th on his head coach power rankings for 2019. Two spots below Frank Reich in Indianapolis.
Matt Nagy did more with less in the grand scheme
Harrison’s argument in this regard is that Nagy had greater benefits on the roster. Specifically the Bears’ top-ranked defense. Reich enjoyed no such benefits right? As usual, he conveniently glossed over some detail to help sell his decision.
“Matt Nagy more than delivered in his first year as the Bears’ head coach, taking Chicago to the postseason for the first time since the 2010 season. What’s interesting about Nagy is that his side of the ball is offense, and prior to getting hired by the Bears, he was known for his work with quarterbacks in Kansas City.
Yet, it was Vic Fangio’s defense that did most of the heavy lifting to get Chicago to the playoffs. A head coach does much more than run one side of the ball, though. In fact, some of them don’t do that at all. They run the office, in some respects. Nagy clearly set a tone in the building, so to speak, which should not be taken lightly.
Nor should Nagy’s work with Mitch Trubisky, who showed improvement from Year 1 to Year 2. Why is Reich ahead of Rivera but not Nagy? Well, Nagy has yet to achieve postseason success and had stronger personnel than Reich did in 2018.”
Stronger personnel? Yes, the Bears had the #1 defense. This is true. Yet Harrison ignored the fact Indianapolis had the 10th ranked defense in 2018. Then there’s the fact they an All-Pro guard in Quenton Nelson, a four-time Pro Bowl receiver in T.Y. Hilton. Oh and that guy under center too. What was his name again? Andrew Luck, that’s right.
A guy who threw for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns. Sure though. The Bears had far superior personnel and it had nothing to do with Nagy bringing it out of them. Or the fact the Bears faced the defending champions in their playoff game and Reich faced the Houston Texans. A team that has been blown out in each of their last four playoff exits.