Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy faces the biggest game of his young coaching career from adversity standpoint this Sunday against the Denver Broncos. Following one of the most disappoint Bears losses in recent memory, Nagy must get quarterback Mitchell Trubisky ready for a bounce-back performance. It will come against what could be the worst opponent at the worst time in former defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.
Fangio was hired as the Denver Broncos head coach following his successful turnaround of the Chicago Bears defense from worst to first over four seasons. Since 2015, the Bears defense got better each season culminating in a 2018 season that saw the defense lead the league in a majority of categories. The defensive dominance led to Chicago winning its first division title since 2010.
When the Bears began the coaching search following John Fox’s firing at the end of 2017, Fangio was interviewed before the Bears hired Nagy. Many Bears fans still believe now that general manager Ryan Pace should have hired Fangio instead of the current head coach.
Following the 10-3 loss to the Packers last Thursday night, Many have questioned Nagy’s playcalling and his ability to coach Trubisky. A lack of balance between the run and pass followed by poor quarterback mechanics left many to blame the two for the disheartening loss. On Sunday in Denver, the focus will be on those two to lead the Bears to victory as a defensive win will not suffice.
It will be hard because Fangio knows the base concept of the Bears offensive game plan. He also knows Trubisky’s tendencies due to two years of practicing against the quarterback. The former coordinator will know that the Bears quarterback has struggled to go through his progressions and that he is prone to scramble when the play isn’t there.
Nagy will face a tough time also as Fangio will look to take away the Bears screen passes and Run/Pass option plays. Denver could be dangerous on offense as Bears defensive personnel was built from Fangio’s defensive scheme. Chicago will have to gameplan against one of the best defensive minds in the NFL who schematically know how Chicago functions on both sides of the ball.
To make matters worse, Denver will be playing this game with a chip on their shoulder. They were embarrassed this past Monday night against the Oakland Raiders in a 24-16 loss. With all of the Antonio Brown craziness and Hard Knocks drama, Denver looked like they took Oakland for granted and were beat because of it. Shockingly, the Broncos defense that features both Von Miller and Bradley Chubb didn’t register one sack.
They will be playing a Bears offensive line that allowed five sacks against the Packers and that had multiple holding penalties. Denver’s defense will also be fired up to show they are just as good as the Bears defense.
Although just the second game of the season, both Nagy and Trubisky are already facing what feels like a must-win game. The Bears quarterback must show that he can go through his progressions and be poised in the pocket.
Their head coach must demonstrate the offensive innovation that got him hired. It will be hard as both will have to do it against a former colleague who knows them all too well.