LAKE FOREST – Unfortunately for the Bears and their fans, they only had one year to work together. But what a season it was for the offensive and defensive combination that fueled an incredible turnaround for a struggling franchise.
Head coach Matt Nagy and his creative offense added in with Vic Fangio’s shrewd moves on defense helped the Bears go from 5-11 to 12-4. They were NFC North champions for the first time in eight years and put the Bears back on the NFL map.
Because Fangio was so good at his job, however, that it got him his first head coaching job with the Broncos less than a week after the conclusion of the season.
Today he along with Nagy got honored for their efforts together during that one year by the Pro Football Writers of America. Fangio was named the Assistant Coach of the Year by the organization while Nagy received Coach of the Year honors in his first season with the Bears.
The rookie head coach proved his worth over the course of the 2018 season, as his innovative offense along with change in attitude had multiple positive effects on his team. Nagy orchestrated the team’s biggest turnaround in 17 years as the Bears improved by nine wins from the 2017 campaign. He becomes the fifth head coach in Bears’ history to win the award, joining Jack Pardee (1976), Mike Ditka (1985 and 1988), Dick Jauron (2001), and Lovie Smith (2005).
In his fourth year with the Bears, Fangio’s defense was at it’s best from start to finish. Bolstered by improvements from the players already on the squad along with additions of Khalil Mack and Roquan Smith, the Bears led the league in turnovers (36) and fewest points allowed per game (17.7) while finishing third in fewest yards a contest.