Before I get into Matt Nagy, I want to touch on one aspect about the actual game play. Everyone watching the game knows it wasn’t pretty. There’s not a whole lot to expand upon in terms of game play that we haven’t talked about repeatedly. It’s another week, another poor offensive performance.
They came into the game averaging 18.6 points per game, and that’s right where they ended up against the lowly Chargers. So aside from the normal offensive struggles, what really stuck out to me was the Red Zone inefficiency.
- In the 1Q – The Bears drove down the field and got to the 19 yard line. After that only able to advance the ball for a net of 6 yards and ended up being stuck with a FG attempt from 33. Which was missed. Starting off the game real well.
- In the 2Q – Drove down the field and got to the 24 yard line. They got 5 yards out of a penalty and worked their way up to a 1st and goal from the Chargers 9. No gain on the first 2 downs and then…this is the really puzzling call… run a draw with Tarik Cohen on 3rd and goal from the 9. FROM THE 9! The Bears haven’t been able to run the ball all season, what makes you think they’re gonna get 9+ yards on 3rd down?? Nagy said this was due to tendencies from the Chargers and that’s why they called it…gimme a break. Wanna know another strong “tendency”? How about the tendency of which teams convert a 3rd and goal from the 9 with a run play?? This results in another Bears field goal.
- At the end of the 1st half after that huge Montgomery run, they’re all the way down to the 15. The Bears ran 9 total plays from that point forward on the drive. 6 of them were inside the 5! Twice in that series, inside the 15, they got bailed out by defensive penalties on 3rd down. Then on second and goal from the 1, with 25 seconds left, they almost ran the clock out, but Trubisky was able to spike it with 1 second left. This ends in another Bears field goal and the Bears are booed off the field while leading in the game! I was in attendance yesterday and the booing isn’t being overstated across the media. It was loud and people were understandably pissed off.
For those keeping score at home, that’s roughly 18 plays in the Redzone in those 3 drives, resulting in 3 field goal attempts. Cannot happen.
Losses happen, kicks get missed, etc. etc. but the toughest and most frustrating part about the game, let’s call it the day as whole, yesterday didn’t even happen during the game. Nagy’s post game comments were infuriating.
It starts off with him being asked about the decision to kneel and let the clock run down to kick the FG to win the game:
“I’m not even going to get into that, that’s…I have zero thought of running the ball and taking the chance of fumbling the football. They know you’re running the football so you lose 3-4 yards. So, that wasn’t even in our process as coaches to think about that.”Via The Bears
Let’s stop there for a moment… I honestly don’t think that the decision to let the clock run down and attempt the field goal was the worst decision in the world. But… this thought process of convincing yourself that you’re for sure going to to lose 3 or 4 yards or fumble the ball is outrageous. Zero thought? Zero?! You think that poorly of your offense? He constantly talks about having faith in the team, blah blah blah (he literally get’s asked bout his faith later in the press conference and get’s very defensive), but then thinks they’re just going to get driven backward out of FG range. In his defense…I get that the Chargers would probably be expecting a run, but there is absolutely no guarantee that play is going for -4 yards. I don’t think there’s a person in Chicago that would be mad if he decided to run the ball and lost those yards, then said ‘you know I felt like we needed to just get a little closer than we were after Eddy missed the kick earlier’.
Now here’s where it gets more frustrating:
A reporter asks: “No thought of throwing it there either?”
Nagy: “Throw the football? (laughs)… Throw the football right then and there….. What happens if you take a sack or there’s a fumble?”Via The Bears
Reporter: “Lose the game.”
Nagy: “(Laughs again) Yeah, exactly so there was zero thought of that. I’ll just be brutally clear, zero thought of throwing the football. Zero thought of running the football. You understand me?”Via The Bears
Nagy acts like he’s above these questions being asked. Dude, you just settled for a 40+ yard field goal, in a city where the biggest off-season story was around the kicker, and the current kicker just missed a 33-yarder earlier in the game. This is a completely fair question. To laugh at the reporter, have that cocky of an attitude, and act like he shouldn’t be questioned shows you what Nagy thinks of himself. I mean this doesn’t give me much hope that anything is gonna change anytime soon. He seems to be set in his ways and thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room.
As the press conference goes on, he once again doubles down the thought behind running the football and losing 3-4 yards, followed by more laughing when asked about his lack of faith in the offense. What’s so funny about that question? You just said you were all but guaranteed to fumble the ball and/or lose 3-4 yards if you run the ball instead of kneel. That doesn’t sound like you have much faith in the team, Coach.
Now here’s a an all time confusing quote from Nagy:
“When you QB kneel it, you lose a yard or two. Which we did.”Via The Bears
Wait, wait, wait. Let me get this straight… you say if you run the ball, you’re going to lose 3-4 yards. You kneel it and you’re going to lose 1-2 yards. So…you “save” 2 yards by not running the ball to try and get the ball closer for your kicker? In his mind, saving those 2 yards outweighed the limited risk of running the ball to try to get closer? If you think your kicker can drill it from 41 yards, he should be able to make a 43-yarder (in theory) as well which would be the result of running the ball in Nagy’s offense. Plus with the way that kick curled outside the post, if he was 5 yards closer, it might have even snuck by the uprights.
Nagy then continues to get very defensive with the reporters. Hey man, I’ve got news for you. You can run around yelling BOOM all day and dance in Club Dub all you want during the good times, but when you consistently call questionable plays, keep losing games you should win, and your offense ranks in the bottom 3 of the NFL, you better buck up and stand there in your post game press conference to explain yourself without being condescending. You deserve to be questioned. Don’t laugh at reporters questions like they just asked if you were going to give Brett Favre a call to save this season. You’re a second year head coach that hasn’t proven anything. You don’t get to be an asshole yet, buddy.
Anyway, I saw people talking about this decision to kneel and settle for the long field goal being similar to a game way back in 2013 when Trestman was here. I looked up an article from that game. Read this article and try not to laugh. It’s damn near the exact same scenario as Sunday’s game against the Chargers. You have a RB in Matt Forte who was having a successful game (Montgomery was running well), kick the ball in OT from 47 yards on 2nd down instead of running it to get closer (Bears kick from 41 instead of getting closer), and lose the game (Bears lost to the Chargers). It’s comical. Nagy is trending towards Trestman 2.0. at this point.
Like I said earlier. Some things need to change, and fast. I think it starts with play calling and Nagy being less stubborn, but considering every week, we see the same thing without much improvement, I won’t hold my breath. The same shit sandwich, just in a different wrapper. I’m not calling for Nagy to be fired or anything, but the Bears have about one or two more games before this season is completely lost. It will be interesting to see if any moves are made by the Tuesday trade deadline, but based on the Bears kinda being caught in no-mans-land right now in terms of buyers or sellers and cap issues, it’s unlikely any significant move will be made.