LAKE FOREST – This was a thought that was brought up midway through the 2019 season when the Bears’ offensive issues continued to pop up week after week.
That was having someone else other than Matt Nagy call most or all of the plays during games. It was a notion, but the head coach wasn’t ready to do so, and the Bears continued on to an 8-8 record.
Once again, the offensive inconsistency has returned in the 2020 season. It wasn’t ignored by any means during the 5-1 start the team had, since the defense was the main reason the Bears were able to have their best start in eight years.
But facing a strong Rams’ defense that has a stout front seven, the Bears’ offensive struggles were exposed in front of a national audience on Monday Night Football. The ground game got just 49 yards and Nick Foles threw two interceptions, with pressure by Los Angeles forcing a number of incompletions.
The 24-10 loss, one in which the defense outscored the offense 7-3, crated a number of cries from the fanbase for Nagy to relinquish the play-calling duties for the final nine games of the 2020 season. Difficult contests for the Bears against the Saints and Titans are ahead for the team before the bye, with the chance of a strong start getting away quickly.
Naturally, Nagy was asked on Monday if he would consider giving up the duty if he felt it would be better for the team. The coach didn’t say he would, but wouldn’t dismiss the idea if the offense continues to struggle.
“Like I said, I always, I look at all that, and that’s the very first thing that I look at, is that. So I talk to our coaches and we talk through that whole process and I’m really honestly not opposed; there’s no opposition from me if we feel like that’s what the issue is and so we look at that,” said Nagy. “Right now, where we’re at, that’s not where we think it’s at, but at the same point in time, I’ll always continue each week to look at it.”
There will be more urgency after the performance Monday and the fact the team has a short week to get ready for Sunday’s game against New Orleans at Soldier Field. Their 27th in the NFL in scoring with 19.3 points per game and 29th in yardage with 308 yards a contest.
A promising rushing attack that gained at least 130 yards in the first three games has collapsed in the last four, and their 84 yard average per game is dead last in the league. Nagy doesn’t deny the issues before the Rams’ debacle on Monday, and something drastic is needed to change the fortunes of the unit.
“When you’re in a little bit of a rut like we are, a lot of bit of a rut like we are right now, you have to look at everything, and sometimes even if it’s just a little bit of a change somewhere, too, you have to be able to do that,” said Nagy. “No one here, coach and or player has too big of an ego to think that it’s not them, right, as a player or coach, so we talk through those kind of decisions and, you know, we’ll just keep evaluating and rolling, and seeing where we’re at.”
Whether it’s enough to change play callers is still to be seen as the 2020 season continues on.
See more on the Bears on Chicago Football Weekly with Jarrett Payton and Lauren Magiera on Saturday at 6 PM on WGN-TV.