Unsurprisingly, Matt Nagy was part of the first round of cuts on the NFL’s Black Monday.
The Bears announced Monday morning that Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace had been fired less than 24 hours after Chicago’s loss to Minnesota. That loss at the end of the regular season left the team 6-11 overall.
Here’s why the Bears decided it was time for a head coach change.
Why did the Bears fire Matt Nagy?
Nagy got off to a good start in Chicago, leading the Bears to a 12-4 record and the NFC North title in his first year as head coach. became the Bears’ first rookie head coach of winning at least 10 games since George Halas reached that total in 1920 and won the NFL Coach of the Year award. Philadelphia beat Chicago in the wild-card round that season, but the Bears had reason for optimism.
Unfortunately for Nagy and the Bears, the good times didn’t last. Chicago finished 8-8 in both 2019 and 2020, then dropped to 6-11 in 2021. As noted by Bears.com writer Larry MayerSince the team started 5-1 in 2020, Chicago has lost 19 of its last 28 games. After jumping to a 3-2 start in 2021, the Bears fell in eight of their next nine games and were eliminated from playoff contention at the end of Week 15.
One specific area where Nagy struggled was in the development of his quarterbacks. Mitchell Trubisky fired up after being selected with the second overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, and Justin Fields was 2-8 as a starter during his rookie season. finishing last in the league among players rated on ESPN’s QBR metric (26.0).
In Nagy’s past three seasons, the Bears finished 29th, 22nd and 27th in the NFL in points scored.
Who will replace Matt Nagy in Chicago?
Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer has offered a list of potential candidates who could replace Nagy and get the Bears back on track in 2022:
- Eric Bieniemy, Chiefs offensive coordinator
- Joe Brady, former Panthers offensive coordinator
- Ryan Day, Ohio State Head Coach
- Matt Eberflus, Colts defensive coordinator
- Pat Fitzgerald, Northwest Head Coach
- Leslie Frazier, Bills defensive coordinator
- Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Head Coach
- Mike Kafka, Chiefs quarterback coach
- Byron Leftwich, Buccaneers offensive coordinator
- Kellen Moore, Cowboys offensive coordinator
- Demeco Ryans, 49ers defensive coordinator
Matt Nagy’s contract with the Bears
Nagy reportedly signed a five-year contract with the Bears in 2018, which means he was under contract until 2022. Pace was reportedly under contract until 2021.