The start of the Justin Fields era was supposed to be a cause for celebration. Instead, it was a reminder of how limited this team is with Matt Nagy running the show as the Chicago Bears suffered a brutal 26-6 defeat to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
Fields finished 6-of-20 for 68 yards with a 41.3 passer rating and was sacked nine times. But once again, the box score doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s difficult to judge Fields based on this game, as he was constantly under duress, his receivers couldn’t get separation and his play caller didn’t help him out.
This game was never going to be the definitive decision about how Fields’ career ultimately pans out — good or bad. But it’s also not how Bears fans envisioned their franchise quarterback making his debut. And that starts with Nagy.
Nagy was brought to Chicago to fix the offensive woes that have plagued this franchise for decades. Instead, he’s made them worse. And with better talent. Nagy remains a detriment to the Bears, and he refuses to step back and let someone else have a chance to fix things.
Even last season when Nagy did hand over play calling to Bill Lazor — which worked wonders — Nagy just took it right back. Because Nagy has to be the offensive genius. Nagy has to get credit when the offense succeeds but never when it fails. And Nagy is the one who thinks he has any credible standing in the NFL as an offensive play caller.
Just how bad were things on offense?
The Bears had just 47 yards of offense, which was their worst effort in 40 seasons. Their franchise quarterback was sacked nine times. The Bears had just 1 passing yard when all was said and done, when factoring in sacks. The Bears have scored fewer than 20 points in 22 of Nagy’s 53 games.
While the defense had its share of struggles — including some missed tackles — it’s hard to be mad at them when they were on the field for most of the game. This loss falls squarely on the offense’s ineffectiveness, which ultimately falls on Nagy.
It’s time for a change, it has been for awhile. But Bears fans can’t rest easy, even with their franchise quarterback in place, so long as Nagy remains the head coach.