Matt Nagy couldn’t have asked for a better setup. His Chicago Bears were coming out of the bye week, well-rested and feeling some positive momentum on offense. Then an hour before kickoff, they found out that Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson wouldn’t play. He was suffering from an unknown viral ailment. Suddenly the head coach was handed a glorious opportunity. Beat a team with their backup QB at home and then face the hapless Lions on Thanksgiving.
Chicago could be back into the playoff chase in the span of less than a week. Except people tend to forget that Nagy doesn’t do well when he’s handed big opportunities like this. Sure enough, John Harbaugh showed everybody just how big of a gulf there is between him and Nagy when his Ravens thoroughly outplayed the Bears in the first half. They dominated time of possession with Tyler Huntley at QB and the defense pitched a shutout for a 6-0 lead.
Former Bear Patrick Mannelly couldn’t have put it any better.
— Patrick Mannelly (@PatrickMannelly) November 21, 2021
Everything about that 30 minutes of football showcased Nagy at his absolute worst. Where were the tight ends? Where were the screens? What happened to the offense that showed up in Pittsburgh? It feels like Nagy just makes things hard on Justin Fields every week. Not enough simple throws. Never able to get his young quarterback in a rhythm. The fact the offense looks like this despite an extra week to prepare?
That is inexcusable. There is nothing left to see at this point. Nagy hasn’t done enough to help his team win football games. Plain and simple. His offense is terrible and has been for years. What else do the McCaskeys need to see? Yes, they have a history of not firing head coaches until the season is over. That doesn’t change the fact that Nagy is doing more harm than good at this point.
Since the start of 2019, the Bears have failed to score an offensive touchdown in the first half 21 times in 43 games.
They are 4-16 in the previous 20 instances where that happened.
— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) November 21, 2021
Matt Nagy had four years. It’s time to give somebody else a shot
The icing on the cake? Fields got hurt in the 3rd quarter on another of what have been far too many hits he’s had to take. Some of those are his fault, but a lot of them have come courtesy of the rough situation around him. Particularly a scheme that doesn’t do nearly enough to get the ball out of his hands faster. Then the moment Fields is out of the game? The Bears throw a screen with Andy Dalton and Darnell Mooney takes it 60 yards for a touchdown.
Where was all of that in the first half when the Ravens were banging the kid around? It is things like this that make Matt Nagy so difficult to fathom. Too often it seems like the man lacks basic common sense. Taking the ball out of a player’s hands when they’re hot. Running bootlegs into the best pass rusher on the opposing defense. Not having bigger packages of screens and slants to give your young quarterback easy completions.
It is the little things with this staff and those little things soon morph into big things.
Throw deep on 3rd & 1.
Send out punt team at midfield.
Send offense back on field.
Turnover on downs.
— Silvy (@WaddleandSilvy) November 21, 2021
In the end, the QB switch didn’t amount to much. The offense still looked bad. Nagy even added to his legacy of atrocious short-yardage decisions with a wildcat on 4th and 1 in the 4th quarter. No play better sums up his entire run. Bad communication, bad play call, and bad execution. Losing the game on top of it? To a backup QB no less? That reinforces the reality the Bears are in. Nagy is a mediocre football coach at best.