Chicago Bears: Ryan Pace is doing his job, now it’s time for Matt Nagy

Chicago Bears (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Back on October 12, 2020, Nick Foles led the Chicago Bears to a win over the Carolina Panthers, 23-16, on the road for his third straight start of the season.

After the game, Foles told reporters Meek Mill’s song Dreams and Nightmares, “got his juices going” in the locker room before the game and helped him get the win.

Now, after Ryan Pace has been a dream general manager for the Bears — snagging Justin Fields, Teven Jenkins, and Larry Borom in the NFL draft — Nagy has to turn his nightmare 2020 campaign around.

To paraphrase Philadelphia legend Meek Mill, “It’s time to marry the game and Matt Nagy needs to say ‘Yeah, I do.'”

Pace has developed an offensively-driven offseason for the Bears. With his job on the line, he is giving the offense a roster that Nagy can work with. 

Let’s quickly sum up Pace’s offseason thus far.

In free agency, Pace went after Super Bowl-star running back Damien Williams, who stepped up for 104 rushing yards, 29 receiving yards, and two touchdowns with the Chiefs. His veteran presence will be good for David Montgomery, especially to take a physical workload off his back.

Recently, Pace captured Marquise Goodwin from free agency on a cheap deal. The veteran wideout is injury prone, having played only one full season. Yet, he will fill the gap for a bonafide third receiver.

Finally, Pace obviously acquired Andy Dalton on an expensive $10 million deal. Not a fan favorite, but has had his moments in his prime. A solid veteran presence is definite. Solid football player? Not so sure.

Now to the draft, Pace traded up to snag Justin Fields out of Ohio State University. For a long time, Fields was the unanimous second overall quarterback in the draft behind generational talent Trevor Lawrence. After having some rough starts against Big Ten opponents Northwestern and Indiana, his stock dropped. Nonetheless, he’s an NFL-ready quarterback.

To sum up, the Bears stole Teven Jenkins out of the second round and Larry Borom in the fifth round. The offensive line is improving, with these two rookies likely to start with James Daniels, Cody Whitehair, and possibly Alex Bars.

Overall, the offense is rounding out. 

The Bears offense is looking well. How so?

They have their franchise quarterback now and veterans to coach him up. The offensive line was awful last year, no debate there. Now, they added two high-profile rookies to spice up the line. The wide receiver core is solid — backed by Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney, and Marquise Goodwin. David Montgomery has a true backup running back to share the field with Williams.

Now, the ball is in head coach Matt Nagy’s court.

Matt Nagy next season is finally exposed to having no more excuses for an unproductive offense. His offense was a nightmare last season, ranking 22nd in points per game and 28th in total yards per game.

Next season, at the helm of Justin Fields, Nagy should be able to get more creative with a versatile quarterback. Fields can run, air out the ball, etc. There are a lot of things Fields can do, but Nagy has to put it into action.

Let’s not forget, the run game needs credit too. David Montgomery threw the team on his back in the back half of last season to give himself his first 1,000 rushing yard season. They need to keep him and Williams more involved (37.73 rushing play percentage last season, 27th in the NFL).

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Pace’s dream offseason is coming together and tasking Nagy’s nightmare offense to come alive for the 2021 season. Can they pull it together? If not, it could be the end for at least one of them.