Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy must finally be starting to feel the pressure.
At this moment, the Chicago Bears are still in the thick of the postseason race. They are 5-4 with seven games to go, including a big one Monday night against the divisional rival Minnesota Vikings.
Historically, the Bears are great in prime time against Minnesota, and specifically Kirk Cousins. This should ultimately give fans a sense of confidence going into this game, hoping they come out with their sixth win of the season.
But, in order to do that, the Bears will have to put points on the board. They have no choice, considering they’ll be trying to keep pace with the league’s top running back at the moment in Dalvin Cook. The Florida State product has been tearing up the league, making 200-plus total yard performances look easy.
While the Bears have played strong defense for most of the season, they still have yet to put points on the board consistently. Right now, they are only ahead of the Washington Football Team, New York Jets and New York Giants in total offense.
Many fans, while watching this putrid offense, have called for head coach Matt Nagy to give up play-calling duties. Friday, during his time with the media, Nagy made it official. He will be handing over play-calling duties to his offensive coordinator, Bill Lazor.
“I’d be lying if I said this was easy. It’s not easy. It’s one of my favorite parts of coaching. I love calling plays. I love it. … We need to do what’s best for us, not what’s best for Matt Nagy.” (via Chris Emma of 670 The Score)
The past few weeks, Nagy has clearly been reluctant to admit he needs a change. He’s been asked over and over about allowing someone else to call plays, yet he’s beaten around the bush when giving answers to those questions. Vanilla, bland answers without really answering the question are what we’ve been accustomed to.
Nagy has always seemed to want to be the smartest man in the room, and it’s understandable given his reputation prior to coming to Chicago and even after his first year with the Bears. But, at this point, he’s clearly flawed and must admit he needs help.
For Nagy to finally hand the duties over to Lazor means he knows he’s under pressure. This team is significantly underperforming, and he’s coaching to save his job at this stage in the season. Most believe there will be big changes in the coming offseason, and for Nagy not to be involved in those drastic changes he will have to prove he can lead a turnaround offensively.
If ever there was a perfect opportunity for this reeling offense to get back on track, it’s Monday night against the Vikings. Minnesota is giving up 413 yards of offense per game this season, and although they’ve won a few games recently, they are still vulnerable against the pass. Mike Zimmer’s crew is third-to-last in pass defense, allowing nearly 298 passing yards per game.
If Nagy doesn’t see his offense play a respectable game this coming week, the pressure will be even greater to replace him. For his sake, Lazor better dial up the correct game plan, or else.