ATM: Offensive Ceiling is ‘Adequate’. Who Takes the Heat?

| November 11th, 2020

Whether Matt Nagy should be fired following the 2020 season is being hammered to death by fans on Twitter. The question does not come with an easy answer.

Down six offensive linemen against Tennessee, and with a quarterback requiring protection, one could argue Nagy did an adequate job on Sunday. This coming after the Saints game in which it now seems inarguable that the offense was somewhat adequate. The 2020 Chicago Bears offense is not going to be good and that is not Nagy’s sole fault. The coach just doesn’t have the horses to put a high-octane offense on the field. Adequate is the ceiling.

The Bears are 20th in the league in amount of salary cap space spent on offense. They entered last week 27th in DVOA. That’s a slight underachievement. But when you consider their most explosive player went down for the season in Week Three and their best offensive lineman was gone two weeks later, it’s more of a shoulder shrug than cause for alarm.

But it’s also evidence that Nagy certainly isn’t doing the job. The great offensive coaches elevate the talent on the roster. Does anyone on the Bears offense outplay their talent level?

A coach not putting up points without talent to work with shouldn’t be a surprise. Kyle Shanahan couldn’t do anything against Green Bay’s bad defense last Thursday night, as he was forced to shuffle his lineup. If Shanahan were in Chicago, you can bet people would be calling for his job, especially considering he is just 27-30 as a head coach. His 49ers were 27th in DVOA in 2018 and 19th in 2017. They jumped up to seventh last year.

What changed? Well, they’ve spent four top-70 picks on wide receivers and a top-10 pick at right tackle. They’ve invested a ton in the running back position and, perhaps most importantly, the offense has just been different when Jimmy Garoppolo — as average as he may be — is on the field.

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