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During the Matt Nagy Era in Chicago, there has been many things to complain about. Whether it’s poor quarterback play, a lack of scoring, or just not showing up, there’s been an excuse for everything.
In 2021, the fans have turned their backs on Nagy and his time with the Bears is coming to an end. If things don’t turn around this season, here are the key losses that could spell the end of the Nagy Era, so far, dating back to 2019.
Saints 36, Bears 25 (Oct. 20, 2019)
David Banks/Getty Images
In 2019, the Bears were coming off of a 12-4 season and were a Super Bowl favorite. That’s crazy to think about after seeing them finish 8-8 and miss the playoffs by two games that same year.
Their first loss by more than one possession with Matt Nagy came against the Saints in Week 7. Going into this game, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was coming off a shoulder injury that sidelined him the previous game.
Though Trubisky completed 34-of-54 passes, throwing for two touchdowns and 251 passing yards, this was the first time we saw the defense fall apart under Nagy. The worst part was, they ran the ball ONLY seven times. That promoted the famous, “I’m not an idiot, I know we have to run more” quote.
The defense gave up two passing touchdowns to backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and two rushing touchdowns to Latavius Murray. It was one of the uglier games in recent memory, and without garbage time would have looked even worse.
Chargers 17, Bears 16 (Oct. 27, 2019)
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
After an 11-point loss the the Saints, the Bears were 3-3 for the second season in a row and had a very winnable matchup against the Chargers ahead.
In this game, the Bears ran the football 27 times with David Montgomery. The team only gave up 16 points but only sacked Philip Rivers once. Despite holding the Chargers offense to only 36 yards rushing, the offense couldn’t get going.
With just one offensive touchdown, the Bears were down 17-16 late in the fourth quarter. Mitchell Trubisky and the offense brought the team down the field to score a game-winning field goal.
With 43 seconds left and a timeout, the Bears took a knee and set up for a 41-yard field goal. Of course, in Chicago fashion, they lost the game, as Eddy Pineiro missed the field goal. Craziest part of that missed kick was Pineiro asked Nagy to center the ball but they had him kick from the left hash.
Chiefs 26, Bears 3 (Dec. 22, 2019)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images
Late in 2019, the Bears faced off against Matt Nagy’s old team, the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes, the quarterback Ryan Pace passed on in 2017. Though Chicago was struggled throughout the season, and were out of the playoffs, people expected a little fight from them.
This game put a bow on the Trubisky era, as they lost 26-3. This was another of a long line of games that the play calling got “too cute” and fans called for a change in the play caller. Still, Nagy would wait until later in the 2020 season to make the switch.
The blowout loss was the second game Chicago lost by more than one score under Nagy.
Despite playing the 2019 season injured, Trubisky was questioned as the team’s starter and would have to compete for the job against Nick Foles in 2020.
Colts 19, Bears 11 (Oct. 4, 2020)
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
After starting 3-0, the Bears turned to quarterback Nick Foles going into their Week 4 matchup against the Colts. In this game, it was ugly.
Foles threw one touchdown and one interception in this game. He couldn’t move the ball down the field. Matt Nagy was questioned as the play caller and fans were confused how they started off 3-0.
The defense was holding onto this game as long as they could, but with no scoring from the offense until the fourth quarter, it was a lost cause. Foles brought the team down the field to score a touchdown down multiple scores.
Still, the Bears would win their following two games to start 5-1 on the season and 2-1 with Foles as the starter.
Rams 24, Bears 10 (Oct. 26, 2020)
AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo
The Bears faced off against the Rams in a blowout loss on the road in 2020. To start their six-game losing streak, Nick Foles turned the football over twice in the air. Foles and the offense put up just three points, needing a turnover to score their lone touchdown.
It was an ugly game offensively and continued the conversation of Nagy needing to give up play-calling duties. Nagy wasn’t considered a horrible coach yet, but there needed to be a change, and that change was Bill Lazor. It would take a few more losses before we saw Lazor as the play caller, though.
Both Packers losses - Packers 41, Bears 25 (Nov. 29, 2020) & Packers 35, Bears 16 (Jan. 3, 2020)
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
In his return as the starting quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky was called upon to take over for Nick Foles. At 5-5, the team was looking for a spark, but without playing since Week 3 and coming off of a shoulder injury, Trubisky was very rusty.
Trubisky did throw for three touchdowns, but he turned the football over twice in the air and once on the ground. This showing of three turnovers on offense was enough to question who the starting quarterback would be going forward.
In Week 17, the 8-7 Bears, who were riding a three game winning streak, were a win away from being a playoff team. They just had to get through the Packers.
Until the fourth quarter, this game was close. At one point, it was 21-16 and the Bears had a few chances to score.
Unlike their first meeting, in this one, Trubisky failed to get in the end zone. David Montgomery had a rushing touchdown and Cairo Santos was called on three times.
This embarrassing 35-16 loss still didn’t end the season, as the Cardinals loss, which gave the Bears the final playoff spot. They’d make the playoffs for the second time in three seasons under Nagy.
Saints 21, Bears 9 (Jan. 10, 2021)
AP Photo/Brett Duke
In Mitchell Trubisky’s final game, it was remember by a poor offensive showing, the defense not being able to keep the offense in the game, and of course, Trubisky winning the NVP trophy.
Outside of that, it was ugly. Matt Nagy was already on the hot seat with fans after failing to improve after 2018. The regression on offense and the Nick Foles Era being a failure, fans were all but done with Nagy.
The Bears converted just one third down attempt in this game. They failed to move the ball until the final drive, where on his last pass as a Bear, Trubisky threw a touchdown to Jimmy Graham.
With a one-game playoff run, the Bears decided to move on from Trubisky. He was blamed as Nagy’s problem. Chicago talked about needing better quarterback play, which caused them to sign Andy Dalton in the offseason.
Browns 26, Bears 6 (Sept. 26, 2021)
AP Foto/David Dermer
In Justin Fields’ first NFL start, the 1-1 Bears traveled to Cleveland to face the Browns. In a game that was hyped up, it was all Cleveland. Fields was sacked nine times in their 26-6 loss.
Fields had just one net yard passing, which called for Nagy’s head. After this loss, there were no excuses. There needed to be a play calling change, though fans were calling for a coaching change right away.
Nagy would give up play-calling duties to Bill Lazor, which kickstarted a two-game winning streak.
Buccaneers 38, Bears 3 (Oct. 24, 2021)
AP Photo/Jason Behnken
In the ugliest game in the Matt Nagy Era, the Bears were steam-rolled by the Buccaneers, losing 38-3.
Justin Fields turned the football over five times, which helped the game be out of reach by the end of the first quarter. This showed many holes in the Bears offense, including their offensive line.
This was a key moment, as this was the final straw for many people. Nagy’s team hit an all-time low. This loss was just the second of their five-game losing streak in 2021.