At the end of 2019, the Chicago Bears were 8-8. They came a few games short of the playoffs and fans were furious. This was supposed to be a Super Bowl-caliber team. One that displayed such promise in 2018. Inevitably people were looking for someone to blame. A lot of fingers were pointed at head coach Matt Nagy.
They felt his offensive play calling and “bad” game management led to the letdown. Going into 2020, there were legitimate questions about whether the man should be on the hot seat. An incredible thing to think about considering the context. Nagy was Coach of the Year his first season. He’s yet to have a losing team in his Bears tenure.
For him to be considered on the cusp of firing seemed rather short-sighted.
Matt Nagy deserves more respect than he gets
Context is always key. Following a 3-0 start to this season, Nagy is now 23-12 in his career coaching the Bears. That is by far the best start any coach has had in the Super Bowl era. What’s even crazier is some of the details behind it all. For starters, the fact he’s managed to do it with Mitch Trubisky and Chase Daniel as the two quarterbacks at his disposal for virtually all of that run.
That record should also be even better than it already is. If Kyle Fuller doesn’t drop a sure interception in Green Bay, if Cody Parkey hits a field goal in Miami, if the defense doesn’t surrender a 95-yard drive in London, or if Eddy Pineiro hits a field goal against the Chargers? He could easily be 27-8. Not to mention the way he’s managed to keep his team in games.
- He trailed 27-17 with 1:49 left vs. the Giants and managed to force overtime
- The Bears overcame a 17-0 halftime deficit to take the lead against the Raiders
- They fell behind 23-6 to Detroit and won 27-23.
- Two weeks later they trailed 26-10 vs. the Falcons and won 30-26. After switching QBs.
The Bears are 6-9 in games where they’ve trailed at halftime.
By comparison, the mighty Baltimore Ravens and MVP Lamar Jackson are 0-9 in those same conditions. This speaks to Nagy’s coaching and leadership prowess. Not only is he able to make adjustments to get his team out of the mud. His leadership is such that he constantly manages to convince his players that they are never out of a game.
Again, all of this with mediocre quarterbacks to work with. Nobody is saying the guy is perfect. He has flaws. That said, it might be time to appreciate him a little more.