Chicago Bears: Contrast between Nagy and LaFleur clear in loss

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images /

In the Chicago Bears’ latest loss to the Green Bay Packers, we saw the stark contrast between Matt Nagy and Matt LaFleur.

In the Chicago Bears‘ latest loss to the hated Green Bay Packers, we saw more of the same from them — struggling offense, mistakes at bad times, and bad coaching.

Now, you may think I’m crazy saying the offense struggled when the Bears put up 30 points. Well, the actual offense scored just two touchdowns. The special teams unit scored 16 points.

Both of those touchdowns came on two big plays. Fields threw a 46-yard touchdown pass then threw another one for 54 yards.  That was 100 yards on two plays. With the Bears gaining 347 total yards on offense, those two plays accounted for 29 percent of them.

Additionally, the Bears racked up 247 yards of offense in the first half of the game. In the second half, they only had 100 yards. Of those, 92 of them came in the fourth quarter when Green Bay was comfortably ahead.

While the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers are two different teams, the biggest one is in the coaching. The difference between the two Matts — Nagy for the Bears and LaFleur for the Packers — is like night and day.

Both Matts came to their respective teams with reputations of being offensive gurus. Both fanbases had hopes of improved offenses. While the Packers had Aaron Rodgers, they were coming off a 6-9-1 2018 season. The offense was middle-of-the-road. Rodgers was splendid as always but the running game ranked at the bottom. It was a one-dimensional offense and it didn’t work.

LaFleur came in and turned it into an all-around juggernaut and led his team to the NFC Championship game in two consecutive seasons, and they’re looking like a good bet to make it three.

Nagy, on the other hand, is in his fourth season and his offense has sputtered year after year. Even in his first season, when the Bears were supposedly good offensively, they averaged 26 points per game. Of course, they had the advantage of the defense scoring six touchdowns helping them.

In the last five games, however (including their playoff game), the offense wasn’t really scoring. They averaged only 18 points per game. That trend continued as they averaged 18.6 and 23.3 points per game in 2019 and 2020. They ranked 29th and 22nd, respectively.

This season is even worse. They average 17.8 points per game, good for 28th in the league. That includes the 30 point output from Sunday night, which boosted their average by a full point.

While the results are different for the two coaches, their differences were on full display when they played. We saw one coach in LaFleur who was confident and aggressive, trusting his players to make plays. We saw another, Nagy, who coached timidly and didn’t even trust his players to gain inches when needed.

It started early on in the game. The Bears had a fourth and goal from Green Bay’s 5 in a scoreless game. Instead of going for it, Nagy decided to go for a field goal. Everyone watching that game knew the Bears needed to score touchdowns to keep up with Rodgers and the Packers. Nope, Nagy opted for the field goal.

Later, when the Packers had a similar situation (fourth and goal from inside the Bears’ five), LaFleur went for it. The result was a Green Bay touchdown.

After the two teams combined for 45 points in the second quarter, LaFleur went back to the locker room and made some adjustments. Nagy went in and, I don’t know, ate some fruit maybe. The Packers came out and bullied the Bears around, gaining yards at will until they scored. After putting up 21 points in the second quarter, the Packers scored 17 in the third.

What did the Bears do? Well, they gained eight total yards of offense.

The second quarter was so exciting and raised the Bears fans’ hopes. After that, however, the Bears reverted to their struggling and frustrating ways.

The frustration was at a peak early in the fourth quarter. With about 13 minutes remaining, the Bears faced a fourth and inches. Again, Nagy was timid and decided to punt the ball away. What was the result? Rodgers took his offense 71 yards and used up nearly nine minutes doing so, sealing the game. Again, you need to score touchdowns and cannot give the ball to Rodgers when you’re behind.

After the game, Nagy admitted he probably should have gone for it.

Wow, he felt after the game that he should have gone for it during the game. Everyone in the stadium and everyone watching the game knew he should have gone for it. In other news, water is wet.

While the Packers look like they’re competing for another conference championship, the Bears will be shopping for a new head coach. We saw on the other sideline last week what should have been for the Bears. Hopefully, they finally get it right and they see the success on their own sideline.