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Dannehy: Defensive Failures, Under His Hand-Picked DC, Another Nail in Nagy’s Coaching Coffin

| November 4th, 2021


Sean Desai dressed as Mel Tucker for Halloween. And he was the spitting image.

It was just another failure of Matt Nagy’s tenure; the second straight game in which Desai had no answers for his opponent and the third time this season in which his defense has been completely outclassed. Desai’s squad has allowed more than seven yards per play twice already this year, after the Bears did so just once in Chuck Pagano’s 33 games.

There are excuses for Desai, but they don’t really add up. The Bears had injuries, but they still had good players on the field. One could argue that Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Robert Quinn, Jaylon Johnson and Roquan Smith are all better at their jobs than any of the team’s offensive players.

It isn’t just that they struggled against a 49ers offense that was average at best coming into the afternoon. The Bears were gashed on every single play. The 49ers gained 8.6 yards per play. In the 55-14 blowout loss to Green Bay in 2014, the Packers gained seven yards per play. The only time Tucker’s unit gave up more than eight yards per play was a 54-11 loss to Philadelphia in 2013 — and that was still nearly half a yard less per play. The only reason the 49ers didn’t score 50 points is because the Bears controlled the time of possession with a nearly 15-minute advantage.

The 49ers went into the game as an average offense. They came out as juggernauts..

There were missed assignments on every play.

There were very few times when the Bears had players even in position to make a play.

They were completely unprepared.

When considering the available talent, it can be argued that the team sitting 20th in points allowed, 15th in yardage and 18th in DVOA is every bit as disappointing as the offense’s bottom of the league standings. The Bears have more money invested on defense than any other team in the league, even with Smith and Johnson on rookie contracts.

Yet, they’re a middle-of-the-pack unit and trending worse.

The Bears spent the offseason pitching Desai as an upgrade that would bring the Vic Fangio-style back to Chicago and limit big plays. The Bears are currently 28th in explosive run rate and 23rd in explosive pass rate.

Yes, the secondary has holes. But it’s hardly the hodgepodge unit that Tucker ran or that Fangio was handed. The results we have point to Desai being overmatched and that is yet another hit on Nagy, who can no longer claim he’s good at hiring defensive coordinators and no longer has a strong defense to save his offense.

The walls are closing in on Nagy as his overall record drops closer to .500. The team has to win Monday night to have any “realistic” hope of making the playoffs. Once that hope is gone, it’s likely Nagy will follow.

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