After starting the season off hot, the Bears are heading into their BYE week on a discouraging four game losing streak. A struggling offense continues to be the common theme and the reason for their losses.
The 5-5 Bears are seemingly approaching a precipice, at which the point of no return patiently waits for the arrival of head coach Matt Nagy in the depths of mediocracy beneath. The third year HC and “offensive guru” is likely looking at his last chance to prove himself. Doubting Nagy is more than justified, and the most intense series of trials of his career will begin on November 29th. Whether this ship sinks or sails at sea is dependent on Captain Nagy’s ability to prepare for crunch time in the couple weeks before game time. So what should fans look for in this make-or-break situation the team is in?
We know coach Nagy has his hands full this week. While the one thing he has brought to this team is culture, there is no way to rationalize the excuse of an offense the Bears put on the field each week. After giving up play calling to OC Bill Lazor and still only scoring six offensive points against the Vikings, its clear the issues go deep. But still, hope prevails as Cordarrelle Patterson displayed the teams belief in themselves with this tweet after Monday’s loss:
While the locker room has never been the issue, its good to see offensive players still having Nagy’s back. It’s a shame blind support doesn’t win games, as the Bears would be undefeated, but you can’t win without it either. Malcontent players are the last thing a struggling team needs. Luckily, the Bears have a roster of players who have fully bought into this team and want to compete. Nagy needs to take this BYE week as a blessing in the grey. Use this time to come up with a six week game plan of continuous improvement.
The final stretch
The remaining half dozen games left of Bears football is going to be accompanied by an abundance of divisional battles. The most important game is always the teams next matchup, and that rings true more than ever. On the 29th, the Bears have been granted an opportunity. They play the Packers at Lambeau, and winning this game will make all the difference. Beating a good Packers team in week 12 would bring the Bears above .500. More importantly, it will restore confidence in the team and result in the remaining games looking very winnable.
The following four games are all against teams with losing records, games which the Bears could definitely win. This stretch is imperative, and in a bigger way than just putting tallies in the win column. Full games need to be played here, no more miracles. It should be clear as day who is the better team when the final seconds tick off the clock in the fourth. The season finale will be at Soldier Field against the Packers, with potential to be a big one. It’s absolutely possible that squeezing into the playoffs may come down to this rivalry.
In a competitive NFC, there is very little room for mistakes. The Bears will probably need to win at least five of their last six to have a chance at making the playoffs. While they’re only one seed out of the current playoff picture, the worst wildcard team is currently 6-3. The Rams and the Cardinals both have difficult schedules to end the year, and the Bears could certainly sneak by either team.
Click here for a preview of the remaining Bears games
The tale of Matt Nagy
There is undeniably a huge “if” here, and it lies at the divergence of a crossroads which is the legacy of Matt Nagy. Two paths await, and a decision is imminent. This is where Nagy determines his greatness not only as a Chicago Bear, but a as coach in the National Football League. A resolution is inevitable. Will Nagy find a solution or will he prove to be the problem? The pen that is writing his story, and his impact on the game of football rests in his own hand.