Nagy, Pace share blame for dysfunctional offense But that doesn't mean Bears can't contend
Much to the surprise of NFL experts, analysts and fans everywhere, the Bears have the second best record in the NFL.
Yet a significant percentage of Bears fans actually want head coach Matt Nagy and his boss, Ryan Pace fired, or at least want to know why they shouldn't be.
What the heck is going on?
The answer, of course, is they're 5-1, and any thought Nagy and Pace are going anywhere or should be is idiotic.
The haters are fed by the fact that Pace made a bold but ill-advised trade to draft a franchise quarterback that to date has failed to yield dividends or frankly much hope. Nagy, meanwhile, was hired to be the head coach of the Bears based on the belief he's an offensive guru, and this offense has been terrible.
I don't believe the haters are just jerks, I suspect most are good folks who love their Bears but are convinced the record is meaningless and they've just been lucky.
We've seen that show before and they might be right.
But you also have to remember this Bears team has one of the best defenses and some of the best special teams in the league. That will win you a lot of football games.
You don't become one of eight NFL teams in history to win three games in the first five weeks after trailing each by double digits on sheer luck.
There's obviously some talent here, and they are getting some pretty good coaching.
Is it the schedule?
Of the seven clubs with similar records to the Bears -- Seattle, Green Bay, the Rams, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Baltimore and Kansas City -- only the Chiefs have faced a tougher schedule or more winning teams and it isn't close.
As poorly as the Bears offense has played, the only team in the NFC with a better record than them, the 5-0 Seahawks, currently have one of the worst defenses in the NFL. They ranked dead last in total defense and against the pass.
Pete Carroll made his bones as a defensive guru, but there's not a soul in Seattle calling for his job.
Yes, Carroll has a ring, but it took him three jobs and eight years to get it.
The Bears are doing exactly what all the other top contenders are doing.
Have they been lucky or are they making their own luck?
I'd argue it's been a significant dose of both.
That's why when Nagy tells us, "We're doing enough right now to get the wins, and I refuse to take away the excitement that we have as a team right now in that locker room," we should get it.
It's not like he's ignoring or debating the obvious. He's also made clear, "Right now with the offense struggling, OK, we completely know that. We understand that, and we want what everybody else wants."
Nagy and Pace aren't getting paid to put up points or pile up stats. They're getting paid to win football games, and right now they are.
So to be less colloquial about it, they're damned if they do and damned if they don't.
I'm not excusing their failings on offense. It's painful to watch and eventually likely to get them beat more than once.
I also believe it is their faults, Nagy for being too stubborn to consider all of his options to improve the situation and realize his scheme is failing as badly as his players, and Pace for believing mediocrity on the offensive line could be good enough.
But even great teams lose games and how often will the offense get them beat?
Or can it still be fixed?
We might be watching something interesting happening here, and perhaps we shouldn't rush to throw anyone to the wolves?
I actually find Nagy fascinating right now.
It's kind of like Rocky when Apollo tracked him down after Clubber Lang knocked him goofy and told him he had to keep fighting because it happened for all the wrong reasons.
There's still time for Nagy's offense to get up off the mat and what did Rocky say?
"Gee, Apollo, now you got me curious."
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