The Chicago Bears Are Actually Good Again.
The last time the Bears brought this much excitement to Chicago, the South Korean hit “Gangnam Style” was making its way into pop culture (2010). Lovie Smith was still at the helm and they offered a fiery defense that thrived on takeaways and sacks. Names like Urlacher, Briggs, and Tillman roamed the field creating chaos for opposing offenses. The only thing missing was an offense. Lovie used his clutch cliche when describing his antiquated offense, “We are gonna get off the bus running.” But there is a new sheriff in town and his name is Matt Nagy.
Nagy has been impressive guiding the Bears to an 8-4 start while sitting atop the NFC North. This includes a 2-1 record in a division that has trampled over Chicago in recent memory. What makes him an interesting man for the job is his honesty. He isn’t afraid of transparency with the media or the fans. He is a disciple of the Andy Reid coaching tree, but unlike many head coaches, he tells it straight. He has created his own approach to the game after a lifetime of lessons learned as an assistant.
Unlike the history of the Bears, he brought a modern offense to Halas Hall. He brings the same crafty play-calling ability that he demonstrated at the end of last season. He demonstrates the gall that likely impressed the Bears Front Office during the hiring process when he continually makes outside-the-box calls with perfect timing. Sunday afternoons “Chicago Special” was a perfect example, a misdirection play with what appeared to be a double reverse including Trey Burton and ending with a Tarik Cohen pass to a crossing Anthony Miller in the end zone for the tying score.
He isn’t perfect but that shouldn’t be the expectation in his inaugural season. He sometimes resembles Reid by misusing or missing challenges or the untimely timeout. Although, he steadily improves each week.
Currently, the Bears score 28.8 points/game, good enough for fifth in the NFL. In the past 20 years, they only have two top-10 finishes (2013 and 2006). In 2013, Marc Trestman had the No. 2 scoring offense but the No. 30 defense and failed to make the playoffs. In 2006, Smith also had the No. 2 scoring offense but with it came with the No. 3 scoring defense. That squad lost a heart-breaker to the Colts in the Super Bowl 29-17.
What do they have in common?
This current Bears team has the No. 4 scoring defense. Does that mean they are headed to the Super Bowl? Probably not. It does indicate Nagy has this organization on the right track. They are trending up and this roster is being recognized for it, according to the latest Pro Bowl voting updates. The Bears actually have stars on both sides of the ball, names like Khalil Mack, Kyle Fuller, Allen Robinson, and Tarik Cohen to name a few. Wait for it… Even the quarterback is in the top 10 in voting. Let that sink in for a minute, second-year QB Mitchell Trubisky is being recognized by NFL fans as a top performing QB.
Frankly, I don’t care how the Bears finish this season. This is a playoff caliber team with great balance. But if Chicago can head to Green Bay and whip Aaron Rodgers’ Packers, the Windy City faithful will ride that into the sunset. That defeat during week one still resonates throughout the most loyal of fans. We want that win, we need that win, and Nagy knows it.
The Bears make a strong case for a 10-6 squad by season’s end that should get them that desired playoff bid. San Francisco (2-10) and Green Bay (4-7-1) remain on the docket and are very winnable games. The Rams (11-1) and Vikings (6-5-1) are the final two pieces to the puzzle.
Windy City faithful, say it with me, “In Nagy We Trust!” BEAR DOWN!
Until then, stay thirsty. JT out!