Matt Nagy and the Chicago Bears might return to the playoffs, but their status is far from safe entering the NFC wild card round.
Matt Nagy understood there was more on the line than a trip to the postseason. The third-year Chicago Bears head coach was all but coaching for his job.
Trusting his offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, Nagy didn’t play safe. They went for it on fourth down five different times, connecting on four.
Instead, a costly play inside the red zone forced Mitchell Trubisky to go for it again. He missed Allen Robinson, the Bears turned it over and the five-point deficient turned into a 12-point one on the ensuing drive in favor of the Green Bay Packers.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) January 4, 2021
Three plays later, Trubisky would be intercepted and the Bears’ regular season was all but over. Chicago would fall to 8-8 thanks to a 35-16 defeat at home. All that was left to do was walk back into the locker room and call it a day.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 4, 2021
Thanks to AAF legend John Wolford, Chicago’s postseason picture is just beginning. With a Los Angeles victory, the Bears are back in action.
However, Nagy’s job is far from safe. And so is Trubisky’s.
Bears need to fight to prove they belong in the postseason
Trubisky’s outing was one of mixed-to-poor reviews. On the one hand, drives late showed he can place the ball in his receivers’ hands when asked. Then again, it’s garbage time, and that tells us nothing.
There are throws like the 53-yard reception to Darnell Mooney that prove Trubisky’s arm is more than used for dump passes, but of course, there are also throws like his interception that will make Bears fans wish they weren’t in the postseason so they could draft the future.
Trubisky airs it out! #DaBears
— NFL (@NFL) January 3, 2021
For the first time in nearly a month, the Bears were held under 30 points. This wasn’t against a top-10 unit either, but rather a middle-of-the-pack secondary and a defense with horrendous linebacker play. And sure, Trusbisky averaged six yards per throw, but he also passed 33 times.
The New Orleans Saints are hoping to send Drew Brees out on a positive note. The one blessing for the Bears is Brees is playing like a 41-year-old set to retire. Chicago’s secondary also will be forced to contain Alvin Kamara in space.
The Bears were having linebackers cover receivers deep downfield, almost guaranteeing points for Green Bay. At least it’s a training portion of practice for when Kamara lines up at receiver. So long as the defense can hold Brees, maybe the Bears will be interesting?
Nagy will finish with the third season of .500 ball or better. The problem is he was supposed to build off his 12-4 Coach of the Year season. Instead, Chicago’s offense still has too many question marks to say he’ll remain the answer with a blowout loss.
The Bears head back to the postseason, but with flaws on both sides of the ball, they best bring the kitchen sink to the Bayou. It’s underdog season from here on out.