LAKE FOREST, Ill. — What started out so well in Chicago quickly fizzled, and because of that, the Bears are once again moving on from a head coach.
The team fired head coach Matt Nagy after four seasons with the team following a 6-11 campaign in 2021. While they had two playoff appearances in his tenure, the Bears’ inability to field a strong offense ended up being Nagy’s undoing.
The Bears will now start a search for a new leader on the football field for the franchise, doing so for the fourth time in less than a decade. Nagy became the sixth-straight coach to leave Chicago without winning a championship.
Hired as the team’s 16th head coach on January 8, 2018, he finished his tenure with a regular season record of 34-31 with an 0-2 mark in the playoffs. Nagy’s first season was easily his best as the team enjoyed their best campaign in eight years, finishing with a 12-4 record and an NFC North title as they were boosted by the NFL’s No. 1 defense.
Bringing a new enthusiasm to the group, including the famous “Club Dub” with some creative calls on offense, Nagy was named the NFL’s Coach of the Year. But the year ended with tremendous disappointment, as the Bears lost to the Eagles 16-15 in a Wild Card playoff game at Soldier Field. The contest ended with the infamous “double doink” missed field goal by Cody Parkey in the final seconds that would have won the game.
With hopes raised in 2019, the Bears failed to live up to their expectations and the offense took a step back. Under third-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, the progress that was expected never arrived as the unit finished 29th in points and 29th in yardage. Signs of trouble came in a 10-3 season-opening loss to the Packers at home that was the kickoff to the league’s 100th season.
Still, the defense was in the Top 10 in the league, and the Bears remained in the playoff hunt till December but ended up finishing 8-8.
Similar troubles came up in 2020 as Nick Foles was brought in to compete with Trubisky for the starting quarterback job. A 5-1 start that was aided by timely efforts by the defense and some fourth quarter rallies, but they faded mid-season when the Bears lost six-straight games. An improved offense fueled a four-game winning streak late in the season and the Bears snuck into the playoffs with the newly created seventh seed.
The Bears would lose in the Wild Card game to the Saints 21-9 in New Orleans.
Facing a crucial season in his coaching tenure after two inconsistent years, the Bears started Andy Dalton ahead of first round draft pick Justin Fields. But the veteran’s injury in Week 2 put the first-year quarterback into the lineup for good, but the offense continued to struggle.
After going to 3-2 to start the year, the Bears lost five-straight games before snapping that streak in a 16-13 win over the Lions on Thanksgiving Day.
That week included a report from Mark Konkol of Patch that indicated that Nagy would be let go after the game, but that never transpired. Things didn’t improve for the Bears the rest of the season, finishing 2-4 after Thanksgiving as they finished under .500 for the first time under the head coach.
Sunday’s game was emblematic of the team’s recent play as they coughed up an 11-point halftime lead in a 31-17 loss as they were outscored 28-3 in the second half.