Insane Stat Proves Matt Nagy to Blame for Bears' Offensive Struggles

Max Staley
This insane stat proves Matt Nagy could be at fault for the Bears' offensive struggles.
This insane stat proves Matt Nagy could be at fault for the Bears' offensive struggles. / Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears offense is struggling. That's no secret. The Bears are currently the league's sixth-worst scoring offense after finishing as the fourth-worst unit in that regard in 2019. It can't all be pinned on the quarterback either, as Nick Foles replaced Mitchell Trubisky and hasn't really fared any better. In some respects, he's actually been worse.

We're now into year three of head coach Matt Nagy's tenure in Chicago, and it's fair to wonder how much of the blame should fall on his shoulders. The advanced numbers suggest it could be a lot more than you might think.

Foles (22.9%) currently sits at No. 2 in "aggressive throw rate", according to NFL's Next Gen Stats. That sounds relatively encouraging, but that stat measures how often a quarterback tries a tight-window throw to a covered receiver — not something you want to be doing often.

Making matters worse, Foles' average intended air yards (IAY) has him at just No. 19 in the league among qualified QBs. In other words, he's throwing downfield at a below-average rate, usually opting for shorter or intermediate passes.

That's a brutal combination. Essentially, that means the Bears' offense has been predicated on high-risk, low-reward throws this season. Consistently throwing shorter, quicker passes to covered receivers is not a recipe for success, as any Madden player could tell you.

And you can't put that all on Foles. Because the man sitting at No. 1 in aggressive throw rate is Trubisky, who had an astounding 31.4% rate before getting yanked.

If both quarterbacks are facing the same exact issue, it's most likely a systemic problem. And that falls on Nagy.

To be fair, it's not all his fault. The quarterbacks obviously can play better and the receivers just might not be generating that much separation. But it's also clear Nagy needs to do a better job of scheming receivers open and generating shot plays downfield.

It's looking like Nagy will have to start turning it around in Week 8, as things could get worse in a hurry with Allen Robinson in danger of missing the game.

Chicago is currently a 4.5-point home underdog against the New Orleans Saints in that one, per FanDuel Sportsbook.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.