Here’s an important question to ask. Would Matt Nagy still have a job right now if the Chicago Bears defense weren’t as good as it is? It was the best in the business in 2018 and carried the team to a 12-4 record. Nagy’s offense was 21st in the NFL. Last season the defense was good but not great and Nagy’s offense was 29th. The Bears finished 8-8.
This season the team is 5-1. That is a very good thing. The problem is the offense doesn’t get much credit for that. Once again on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, a team that is middle-of-the-road defensively, the Bears couldn’t put together a complete game. This despite a monster showing from the defense.
Here’s the breakdown:
- 3 takeaways
- 4 sacks
- 6 tackles for loss
- 16 points allowed
Despite all of that, Nagy’s offense mustered just 23 points. Their running game was a no-show again (64 yards) against the 31st ranked run defense. Pass protection wasn’t great either. The execution was poor and Nagy’s play calling, in general, was highly questionable. He continues to show a general lack of feel for situations or what his offense does well.
Being 5-1 has shielded him somewhat from criticism but voices are getting louder about whether he should continue to run the offense personally. Despite having a great eye for play design, his game management too often overshadows it.
Matt Nagy hit the red line in the final minutes against Carolina
His final called drive may have been his most egregious. The defense had just gotten a big stop on 4th down. Less than two minutes remained. Then David Montgomery gained eight yards on his first two carries. It was 3rd and 2. All the coach had to do was hand it off one more time. If Monty gets the first down? Great. If not, it forces Carolina to burn their last timeout. This isn’t rocket science.
What does Nagy do? He calls a shotgun pass to Allen Robinson.
Now in fairness, it should’ve been caught, but that doesn’t validate the play call. Risking an incompletion and giving your opponent 1:40 left with a timeout only up by seven points is inexcusable. Anybody with common sense runs the ball in that situation. Nagy again showed that is something he continues to lack.
Thankfully the defense bailed him out with an INT a few seconds later.
Nagy is a tremendous leader of men. That is without dispute. Great leaders don’t always make great play callers though. This is proving true with him. The coach always talks about self-reflection and being detailed. At what point does the blame for this offense’s execution shift from the players to him?
Sure their execution could be crisper but Matt Nagy isn’t helping him with his constant tinkering during drives that gets them out of rhythm. If he wants to start thinking about a Super Bowl, he has to reach a realization that maybe he’s not the right guy for that job. Give somebody else the headset.
That defense isn’t going to bail him out forever.