Matt Nagy made the playoffs last year. One would normally think that wouldn’t put a man in the position to get fired. This serves as a reminder that perception is reality in the NFL. While the Chicago Bears made the postseason, it was with an 8-8 record and a big assist from the league expanding their field of teams from six to seven per conference. People haven’t forgotten another year of atrocious offense and that ugly six-game losing streak in 2020.
It seems the betting oddsmakers haven’t forgotten. Following the Bears’ rough 34-14 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the season opener, Nagy has now claimed sole possession of first place in the rankings of head coaches most likely to be fired. BetOnline currently has him at 4/1 odds that he will be out. SportsBettingDime has him at +500, well ahead of Mike Zimmer (+700) and Frank Reich (+750).
Not exactly a vote of confidence.
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) September 15, 2021
Nagy #Bears +500
Zimmer #Vikings +700
Reich #Colts +750
McCarthy #Cowboys +1100
LaFleur #Packers +1150
Fangio #Broncos +1500
Taylor #Bengals +1900
Judge #Giants +2400
Meyer – #Jaguars +2700
Campbell – #Lions +2800
— Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. (@wiltfongjr) September 14, 2021
Much of this stems from the obvious. How last season went and how this one started. All the same problems. Lack of overall discipline. An inability to score points on offense. Something he’s supposed to be an expert at. Then there is the baffling situation with Justin Fields. While his desire to sit the rookie QB in hopes he can take time to learn, that is usually reserved for guys who aren’t ready to play.
Based on a lot of comments coming out of Halas Hall? There are plenty of people in that locker room who believe the kid is ready right now. He proved it in training camp and then the preseason. Nagy’s decision to bench him anyway doesn’t seem to have gone over well. Even his own offensive coordinator Bill Lazor sounded a bit frustrated with the situation.
Matt Nagy still controls his own destiny
The season is still young. There is a chance the Bears can get themselves settled and rebound over the next couple of weeks. He best hope so because the schedule gets way harder once October arrives with Green Bay, Tampa Bay, and Pittsburgh all lined up. Not to mention San Francisco. If this team falters through some winnable games the rest of this month, they could be knocked out of the playoff picture before the season is half over.
From there, the only hope Matt Nagy would have of saving his job is to start Fields and get him to play well. Even then it might not be enough. Anthony Lynn got a great season out of Justin Herbert last year but was still fired. Nagy faces that exact same risk. He has to send a message to ownership that he remains the right man for this job. George McCaskey gave him that opportunity back in January.
Most think he is going to waste it.
Make no mistake. A large portion of the Bears fanbase want him gone. Many wanted him fired after last season ended. So one can only imagine how they feel now. It isn’t going to get any better the longer he holds out Fields or continues to lose. People might want to take a risk on those bets now because the odds could be even lower a couple of weeks from now.