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Bears’ Matt Nagy named top coach by Associated Press panel

Bears head coach Matt Nagy has the Bears on the brink of the playoffs. | Nam Y. Huh/AP photo

Bears head coach Matt Nagy. | Nam Y. Huh/AP photo

Matt Nagy, who in his first season led a moribund Bears franchise to the brink of their first playoff appearance in eight years, is doing the best coaching job in the NFL. Nagy was picked as having done the NFL’s best coaching job in 2018 in voting released Friday by a panel of 10 Associated Press football writers.

He got seven of the 10 first-place votes.

“(Nagy’s) overseen a total turnaround of the Bears in just his first year as an NFL head coach, taking a team that hadn’t finished above .500 since 2012 and turning them into the best of the NFC North,” said Washington-based Howard Fendrich, who voted Nagy first. “He’s an offensive guru who learned from former boss Andy Reid, and Chicago’s play calling has been creative and fun — and overcome limitations at the QB spot to be good enough to let a superb defense lead the way.”

Seattle’s Pete Carroll finished second.

With a win or Vikings loss Sunday, the Bears will clinch their first playoff berth since 2010.

Bears GM Ryan Pace plucked Nagy, the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator, as his new head coach in January. He chose him over Vikings coordinators Pat Shurmur and George Edwards; Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel and Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo.

The 9-4 Bears face the Packers on Sunday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.