It's been a tumultuous start to the season for the Bears coach. Will he continue if the team stumbles again?
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Good morning, frents!
And welcome to Soxtober. If there's anything better than cool fall nights featuring playoff baseball, I don't know about it.
Will Matt Nagy be fired if the Bears lose to the Lions on Sunday?
That's the question that ESPN 1000's Marc Silverman posed to his Twitter followers on Thursday afternoon.
As of this writing (and over 8,000 votes), here were the results:
- Yes: 46.5%
- No: 53.5%
Just a hunch, but I'm guessing the 53.5 percent who clicked 'no' have no faith in the McCaskey family and believe they'll have to use their tar and feathers after a possible loss to Detroit.
Oh, what a situation we're in as the Bears head into ... checks calendar ... Week 4. I wasn't expecting this season to be a success, but I also didn't expect things to be this much of a mess on October 1.
Using the outcome of a Week 4 game against the Lions as a way to decide on Nagy's future would be silly of the McCaskeys. But it would also be soooo like them. Nagy, after all, is only still here because they were impressed with the way he trounced the Texans, Vikings and Jaguars last December to backdoor a playoff spot.
But we're talking about it because Nagy created the conversation.
Everyone can see he's well over his head in the early stages of his fourth year. The McCaskeys have never fired a coach midseason, but the timing on this one just feels right.
A panicked and stressed fanbase has already moved on.
A win over Detroit — which will likely have to be led by the defense — won't change any of that. Beat the Lions and the Bears will still be heading into four weeks featuring the Raiders, Packers, Buccaneers and 49ers. The Bears could be 2-6 or worse before we flip the calendar again.
Do the McCaskeys have it in them to get tough and admit that Nagy was a whiff? They're coming off a week in which the applause they earned with the Arlington Heights purchase agreement was soon overtaken by Nagy's quarterback shell game — we still don't know who's starting on Sunday — and his refusal to reveal who will be calling plays against the Lions.
He's also polling the players for ideas on jumpstarting the offense.
To answer the original poll question, I do think a loss to the Lions gets Nagy canned.
But I think the fact we're even asking the question is justification enough for the Bears to move on.
"We’re so dug into the game planning and entrenched in what’s going on, you don’t know all the social media world or whatever’s said on TV, You don’t see it. But you get a text from someone saying they have your back. It comes with the territory. Do you like it? No. But the competitor in you accepts it." — Matt Nagy
News and results
Sky falter late in Game 2, series tied at 1
The Sky scored the game's first 11 points and led the Sun by one heading into the fourth. But the home team controlled the final quarter from start to finish for a 79-68 win that tied the best-of-five series at one. A missed opportunity, but the Sky have shown they're more than capable of knocking off the league's top seed.
• Next: Game 3 is at Wintrust on Sunday. Tip is slated for noon.
Sox trail Astros by two heading into weekend
Houston clinched the AL West with a 3-2 win over Tampa Bay on Thursday night and extended its lead over the Sox for homefield advantage to two games.
- The Astros win made this one simple: The Sox will need to sweep the Tigers and Houston will need to be swept by the A's for the ALDS to open up at Sox Park next Thursday. (The Astros hold the tiebreaker after going 5-2 against the Sox.)
- Next: Three games against the Tigers, starting tonight. Lance Lynn is tonight's scheduled starter, followed by Lucas Giolito on Saturday and Dylan Cease on Sunday.
Justin Steele blanks Pirates in final start
The rookie lefthander saved his best for last, pitching seven scoreless innings with seven strikeouts and just one walk in a 9-0 win over Pittsburgh. Steele had a 5.89 ERA in his previous eight starts since joining the rotation in early August.
- The Cubs lineup hit Pirates starter Miguel Yajure for seven runs, including six in the second inning.
- It was the 69th win for the Cubs and the 100th loss for the Pirates.
- Next: The Cubs will finish with three in St. Louis. The games are meaningless for the Cardinals, who have already clinched the second NL wild card. The Cubs can't finish any higher than the seventh draft spot, but could fall to eight with a bad weekend from the Twins. (Minnesota currently "trails" the Cubs by two)
Saturday's college games
Charlotte (+11) at Illinois (11 am, BTN): It finally seems like the 1-4 Illini are getting a break, but Charlotte travels to Champaign with a 3-1 record. Could a second C-USA team head home with a win?
#7 Cincinnati (-2) at #9 Notre Dame (1:30 pm, NBC) Ah yes, the Rick Minter Bowl. Both teams are undefeated and the Irish won't get the breaks their first four opponents have given them. This could end up being Notre Dame's biggest test. The rest of the schedule doesn't have a team that is currently ranked.
Eastern Michigan (+1.5) at Northern Illinois (1:30 pm, ESPN+): The MAC season finally gets underway in DeKalb.
Northwestern (-11) at Nebraska (6:30, BTN) The Wildcats are double-digit favorites and need a decisive win to get on track for the rest of the Big Ten schedule.
- The best left-handed hitter in Sox history made the Field of Dreams movie site famous. Now the best right-handed hitter in team history owns a controlling interest in it. Des Moines Register
- Our own David Brown took a stab at projecting the Sox playoff roster for the ALDS. Who did he include? Who did he leave out? Midway Minute
- Andy Masur with a good column on what it's like to cover a coach or manager who's on the hot seat. Barrett Sports Media
- A ticket broker who allegedly scammed the Sox for $1 million using rainout seats is standing trial. Sun-Times
- It's a great weekend for beer events around the area. Chicago Now