Former Alabama defensive back Eddie Jackson had a message for the Chicago Bears fans who have been chanting for the head coach to be fired: Cut it out.
"We hate it, honestly," Jackson said. "The fans gotta understand that doesn't help anything. Y'all want us to play better, do better, that's not helping when you all sitting up there and chanting that. But I get it. The frustration, long-time Bears fans have been going through this for a long, long time, so I understand it, but it's not helping the situation.
"I feel like it's just making it worse. We just continue to rally around each other and look upon ourselves to get this turned around and block out all the outside noise."
The Bears have only made the playoffs twice since 2010, both under Matt Nagy (2018 and 2020), who is in his fourth year as head coach.
At 4-7, Chicago is still in the NFC playoff hunt, but considering that six teams all have five wins and the Bears would have to jump past them all in the standings to secure the last playoff spot they're longshots at best.
That's probably the only thing that could save Nagy's job.
So fans have chanting "Fire Nagy," and not just at Soldier Field. It's been heard at Blackhawks and Bulls games, and even at his son's high school football playoff game.
"I feel like we're playing for each other," Jackson said. "This is a team effort. Coach Nagy has had our backs since the first day he walked in here, so I feel we owe it to him, and I feel like a lot of players feel the same way, that we owe it to him, we owe it to Chicago to go out here and play our best ball.
"Like I said, it's tough. Even though nobody's going to show it, but I'm pretty sure, like, if we come to do your job and boo you every day or whatever the case may be, you're going to feel some type of way, just like the fans. If we come to y'all jobs and boo y'all, how y'all going to feel about it? So he's still human. We're still human. Nobody like sit. So we just continue to fight and like I said just block out the noise and continue to do what we do."
The immediate schedule won't help. Chicago hosts Arizona on Sunday, and visits rival Green Bay next week. It could be completely out of the playoff picture before it wraps up the last four weeks with the Seahawks, Giants and two games against the Vikings.
Incidentally, one of the names being floated as a possible replacement is former Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, who has that same role with the Bills.
After being left for dead by most, especially after the way the Dolphins flirted with acquiring Deshaun Watson before trade deadline, Miami has won four straight and pulled itself back into the AFC playoff picture,
At 5-7, it still has a way to go. But the charge has been led by the defense, rookie wide receiver Jaylen Waddle and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
“That’s how you dominate!” former Crimson Tide defensive lineman Raekwon Davis was quoted as saying after last week's 33-10 victory over the Panthers.
Waddle had nine receptions for a career-high 137 yards and one touchdown. His 77 receptions are the second most by a player in his first 12 career games in NFL history, trailing on Odell Beckham Jr. (91). Waddle leads the Dolphins both in catches and receiving yards (759).
Tagovailoa completed 27 of 31 passes (87.1 percent) for 230 yards and one touchdown, for a 108.3 NFL passer rating against Carolina.
At 23 years and 271 days old, Tagovailoa joined Dak Prescott as the only quarterbacks under the age of 24 with a completion percentage of 85-or-higher (minimum 30 attempts) in a single game all-time.
He was also just the fourth player in league history with a completion percentage of 80-or-higher (minimum 30 attempts) in consecutive games. The other three are Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Kyler Murray earlier this season.
Still no Ridley
Calvin Ridley was eligible to be activated last week after having been put on injured reserve, but it's looking unlikely that he'll return to the Falcons this season.
"Got no update," head coach Arthur Smith said. "As soon as we get an update, we'll give you an update."
When asked what he expected, the coach didn't budge: "I'm not going to predict anything and take it day-by-day. If there's an update, we'll let you guys know."
Ridley left the team on Halloween to focus on his mental health. He has a four-year, $10.9 million contract that included a $6 million signing bonus. His base this season is $1.97 million, but next year it jumps to $11.1 million.
Moreover, Julio Jones, who was traded over the summer to the Titans, has a dead-cap number of $15.5 million for the Falcons next season.
That's a lot of salary and cap space in exchange for little or no production at wide receiver.
Game of the Week
Patriots at Bills: New England (8-4) has surpassed Buffalo (7-4) in the AFC East, but the division lead will still be at stake on Monday night. Against the Titans last week, Mac Jones completed 23 of 32 attempts (71.9 percent) for a career-best 310 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 123.2 NFL rating. He capped a 4-0 November, joining Prescott (2016), Kyle Orton (2005) and Ben Rothlisberger (2004) as the only rookie quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era to start and win all of their team’s games in the month. Each of the previous three rookies to do it led their teams to division titles, including Prescott, the last rookie quarterback to lead his team to the playoffs. Can Bills cornerback Levi Wallace stop him?
Two other matchups we have to mention: Jalen Hurts and the Eagles, vs. C.J. Mosley and Quinnen Williams and the Jets, and Steelers rookie running back Najee Harris going up agains the rival Ravens.
Week 13 NFL Schedule
(All times CT)
Dallas at New Orleans, Fox/NFLN/Amazon, 7:20 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Atlanta, Fox, noon
Arizona at Chicago, Fox, noon
Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati, CBS, noon
Minnesota at Detroit, CBS, noon
Indianapolis at Houston, CBS, noon
New York Giants at Miami, Fox, noon
Philadelphia at New York Jets, CBS, noon
Washington at Las Vegas, Fox, 3:05 p.m.
Jacksonville at Los Angeles Rams, Fox, 3 p.m.
Baltimore at Pittsburgh, CBS, 3:35 p.m.
San Francisco at Seattle, CBS, 3:25 p.m.
Denver at Kansas City, NBC, 7:20 p.m.
New England at Buffalo, ESPN, 7:15 p.m.
Byes: Carolina, Cleveland, Green Bay, Tennessee
(Will be added over the weekend)
• One of the worst secrets in the league last week was Freddie Kitchens, the former Alabama quarterback and head football coach for the Cleveland Browns and currently the Giants senior offensive assistant, assumed play-calling duties upon the departure of Jason Garrett. Coming off a short week and missing a lot of playmakers, the Giants beat the Eagles, 13-7, but that's despite getting four defensive turnovers.
• When Patrick Surtain II notched his first pick six last week, he and his dad became one of just four father-son combinations with an interception return for a touchdown in league history. The others were Gil and Jairus Byrd, Dave and David Grayson, and Clay and Clay Matthews. Patrick Surtain had two career interception returns for touchdowns during his 11-year career, the first of which came against the team his son plays for, the Broncos.
• Surtain was named the Defensive Player of the Week in the AFC on Wednesday morning. He join Dallas’ Trevon Diggs (Week 4) and the New York Giants’ Xavier McKinney (Week 9) as former Alabama defensive backs to earn the honor this season.
• Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey has the longest active streak of consecutive games with a pass defended, with nine. Also, the last time he faced the Steelers he had two forced fumbles and two passes defended.
• His Week 3, Harris has 929 yards from scrimmage for the Steelers. Only Jonathan Taylor and Cooper Kupp, the NFL’s respective leaders in rushing and receiving yards, have more yards from scrimmage during that span.
This report will be continually updated as necessary, and through the final game on the schedule.