Some Post-Loss Thoughts on Dalton, Nagy, and the Development of Justin Fields

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Some Post-Loss Thoughts on Dalton, Nagy, and the Development of Justin Fields

Chicago Bears

Sunday’s uninspired loss to the Arizona Cardinals was another reminder that the Matt-Nagy-Chicago-Bears are irreparably broken.

The organizational plan for this season all along was to let Andy Dalton start as QB1. So on Sunday, Nagy had his quarterback running his offense, and the result was a lopsided loss to an NFC foe that’s quite evidently a class above the Bears in competition. Dalton’s line — 229 yards, one touchdown, and four interceptions — sums it all up. As does this moment after his third interception:

 

The notion that Dalton gives the Bears a better chance to win than Justin Fields should be wholly, completely, officially out the window. At this point, some empty yards against a winless Lions team on Thanksgiving constitute Dalton’s most impressive on-field contributions to the Bears, which says about everything you need to know about his time in Chicago. But I’ll put an even finer point on it, so as not to be misunderstood: The veteran quarterback is toast, and outside of injury, there is no reason for him to see the field again this season.

And that brings us back to Nagy. 

Since a flash-in-the-pan playoff appearance in 2018, Nagy’s time as the head coach of the Chicago Bears has been a slow-moving train-wreck. And the fourth-year head coach seems to have a knack for mucking things up whenever he has the opportunity. Even an expanded-playoff appearance last season may have done more harm than good to the long-term outlook of this franchise, all things considered. 

And with a loss to Arizona on Sunday, their eighth of the year, Nagy and the Bears have ensured that the only thing that matters for the rest of this season is the development of rookie quarterback Justin Fields. 

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The Bears head to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football this week. And, if healthy, Fields should return to his starting role.

That means Nagy has one week to develop a game plan that works for Fields. Not a game plan that works for Nagy, into which Fields then needs to make himself fit. But instead, building a scheme that best fits Fields’ skills. But asking that of Nagy may be an exercise in futility. After all, this is the guy that tried to make Mitch Trubisky run his offense, instead of creating an offense catering to Trubisky’s strengths. And when that didn’t work, he pushed the front office to acquire Nick Foles. And, of course, when Foles openly criticized the offense, then was injured while failing to run it, Nagy went back to Trubisky. When it became clear that neither of those guys could fit into Nagy’s vision, the Bears gave Andy Dalton $10 million to do what they couldn’t. 

As far as I’m concerned, Sunday was the final nail in his coffin. 

So now, what we have to do, as fans, and evaluators, is focus on Fields for the final leg of this season. Focus on his development and enjoy the moments in which he shines. At this point, that’s all that matters. 

Michael Cerami contributed to this post.



Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.