Matt Nay has pushed this button, pulled that lever, spun every dial, and yet his Bears still haven’t won a game since the middle of October.
He’s understandably frustrated, and after his squad was thrashed by the rival Packers on national television Sunday night, he’s tired of changing things at a micro level. He wants everyone involved with the team to be as upset as he is with his team’s subpar performance.
“Whatever it is, I know this: We better wake our tails up,” Nagy said. “Every freaking coach on the staff, every player better wake up and start understanding where we’re at. Have some personal pride. Have a freaking sense of urgency. Know where we’re at. Have some pride in who we’re playing for and why we do this. And then go find a way to win as a team. That’s my challenge to every single person in that building this week, is that.
“Yesterday was flat-out embarrassing. Our guys know it. I’m not telling you something they don’t know. They know it. But we’re gonna step up and all coaches, all players. We’ve got five games left. For us, it’s our own personal challenge as to where we’re at and how we’re going to do this thing.
“But that performance yesterday is ridiculous and can’t happen. And obviously, that starts with me.”
Nagy’s bunch faced an uphill climb as soon as the calendar advanced to Week 12 and Green Bay became its next opponent. Aaron Rodgers owned an 18-5 record against Chicago in his career, and he improved that to 19-5 Sunday night, bringing his career touchdown-to-interception ratio against Chicago to 51-10.
Pinning the blame on facing a future Pro Football Hall of Famer won’t cut it in this league, though, something Nagy knows and won’t use an excuse. But after starting 5-1, the Bears are now below .500 and seriously looking at missing the postseason.
Chicago’s offense remains stuck in the mud, no matter who is playing quarterback. The majority of yards gained and points scored came in what most would consider to be garbage time, and Sunday night was just the latest example of the Bears lacking an offense that can compete with other NFL teams.
In previous games, Chicago’s defense kept the Bears competitive, but that went out the window when Rodgers and Co. ran out to a 41-10 lead Sunday night. As gratifying and emphatic as Green Bay’s offensive performance was, it was equally as disheartening for Nagy to watch his team’s defense crumble in a rivalry game.
Now, it’s on the Bears to figure out how to string together some wins after being starved of the taste of victory for well over a month.
Chicago doesn’t seem to have a legitimate answer at quarterback in either Mitchell Trubisky or Nick Foles, a problem the franchise can’t address in season. But their best chance of improvement revolves around the turnover differential, which has gone from +1 in the Bears’ first six games to -7 in their last five contests.
Trubisky accounted for three turnovers Sunday night, including a horrendous pass into triple coverage that was easily intercepted by Darnell Savage, and a fumble that Preston Smith returned for a touchdown. Foles might be the better option, if healthy, but doesn’t guarantee a turnaround.
Nagy might be stuck with what he’s got, which hasn’t earned his team a win in a while. Fire and brimstone could be his only option, and with their playoff chances slipping away, the effectiveness of Nagy’s motivational skills will be tested. It might be the Bears’ only hope.
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