On Sunday, the Green Bay Packers face off against their arch rivals, the Chicago Bears. Robert of Windy City Gridiron was kind enough to answer some questions about the Bears and provide some insight into their strengths and weaknesses.
APC: The Bears’ impressive 15-6 victory over the Rams highlighted the dominance of Vic Fangio’s defense. The unit easily tops the rankings in DVOA (-26.3 entering Week 15), separating itself from the next closest defense by a margin greater than that between the No. 2 (-13.3) and No. 16 (-0.1). Given Fangio’s work this season, do you expect another team will try to hire Fangio as a head coach this offseason and why do you feel that way?
I would be shocked if Fangio doesn’t get legitimate head coaching looks in January. The surly 60-year-old has been working for this kind of opportunity for the length of his coaching career. In the past, even after doing quality jobs with his defenses in San Francisco and Chicago, I’ve felt that he only received head coaching interviews out of courtesy. I don’t think anyone, including the Bears, actually took him seriously as the leader of a football franchise. He’s been viewed for awhile as a defensive savant, and nothing more.
What Fangio always needed to re-ignite this conversation was another dominant defense. While he got the Bears to respectability from 2015-2017, they were hardly anything to write home about. They were more average than great, and DVOA numbers bear that out. The 2018 Bears and their capacity to take over games almost effortlessly is the best piece of his resume he’s had in years. I’m not the biggest fan of Fangio with how conservative he can tend to be as a defensive mastermind with the tremendous pieces he has aboard. But the ledger speaks itself.
Some football lifers take a long time before they finally get the lead headset. In an NFL defined by offense, there will be some team that looks for kryptonite to combat that trend. You’d be hard pressed to find a better kryptonite in the current league than the experienced Fangio, who has seen it all. Perhaps that team will have an established star quarterback and some good young defensive pieces. Does that ring a bell?
We’d like to thank Robert for his insight. Be sure to check out our Q&A session at Windy City Gridiron, as well as their fantastic coverage of all things Bears. As always, keep your internet machines tuned to Acme Packing Company this Sunday for our comprehensive game-day coverage of Packers versus Bears.