It’s never fun when the conversation about the Chicago Bears 10 games into a season is more about the head coach and GM than the players. This only means one thing. The team is struggling and people are starting to wonder if a potential housecleaning is on the way. The last time this happened was back in 2015 when Marc Trestman and Phil Emery were sent packing. Now Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace must be feeling that same helplessness.
Their relationship got off to such a great start. A 12-4 record and a division title in 2018. A missed field goal away from knocking off the defending champs. Since then it’s been one long slog of frustration. The Bears are 13-13 since that fateful January night. Nothing seems to have worked save for the defense. It’s just not fun anymore.
George McCaskey said he expects this team to win.
That is why he didn’t fully commit to the future of either Nagy or Pace back in the summer. Probably because he may have had a sneaking suspicion something like this might happen again. Last year the Bears got off to a strong start only to stumble down the stretch. This season they got off to a strong start and are stumbling once again.
Is this growing trend putting the head coach and GM on the hot seat? Bill Zimmerman asked this question of top Bears insider Adam Jahns of the Athletic on the Bear Banter podcast. The answer didn’t leave much up to the imagination.
“Yes and I don’t want to overrate the importance of these next six games because with the quarterbacks conundrum, that’s not going to change over the next six weeks. Unless one of them comes out and just lights the world on fire…like that would be a game-changer.”
Obviously, no one has much hope for that happening. Foles is nursing an ankle injury. Trubisky is returning from an injury to his throwing shoulder. The offensive line is a train wreck. Nagy hasn’t had any answers to this problem. Now his last line of defense, his winning record, is wasting away every week. That could end up being his death blow.
“The record is important. I’ve said all along it would take some kind of collapse for the Bears brass to feel differently. We’re in the middle of that collapse right now. Can Matt Nagy stop it?”
Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace can’t hide from what’s unfolding
Reality is staring them in the face. This team started at 5-1. It wasn’t a pretty journey to that record. They needed some lucky breaks along the way. Still, that was their record. They were in full control of their own destiny. Since then? They’ve dropped four in a row. The offense is averaging 14 points per game in that stretch, which is second-worst in the NFL. Going from a record like that to 8-8 or worse?
There is no defending that. It would go down as one of the biggest collapses in franchise history. How can ownership sell the idea of keeping those two men after something like that? They can’t. Not without taking a metric ton of heat and risking the alienation of fans who are tired of the team settling for mediocrity. They’d much rather see them keep trying for greatness.
Six games remain. Four against teams with losing records.
Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace managed to pull the nose up last year down the stretch. Can they do it again? The schedule isn’t daunting. They have a good enough defense to keep them in most of those contests. Is there any life left to squeeze out of this offense? If so, they better hope they can find it. Otherwise, they’ll be updating their resumes by the start of the new year.