Chicago Bears quarterback Tyson Bagent threw for 162 yards and running back D’Onta Foreman rushed for 80 yards to lead the Bears to their third victory of the season, a 16-13 win over the Chicago Panthers. Carolina at Soldier Field Thursday night.
Five days after committing four turnovers in a loss to the New Orleans Saints, Bagent didn’t give up the ball and completed 20 of 33 passes to earn his second win as a starter at quarterback. -injured fullback Justin Fields.
Panthers rookie quarterback Bryce Young had a chance to lead a game-winning drive in the final minutes. Young took the Panthers to the Bears’ 41-yard line, running 2 yards on fourth-and-1 and completing a 13-yard pass to Miles Sanders on fourth-and-2 later in the drive.
But after Young threw three straight incompletions, Panthers kicker Eddy Pineiro, a former Bear, missed a 59-yard field goal attempt.
Young completed 21 of 38 passes for 185 yards, no touchdowns and no turnovers. The Bears sacked him three times.
One of the main storylines of the game was the offseason trade between the Bears and Panthers.
The Bears traded the No. 1 pick to the Panthers in the offseason, and the Panthers used it to select Young. In return, the Bears received receiver DJ Moore, the 2023 picks Nos. 9 and 61 (which became rookie right tackle Darnell Wright and cornerback Tyrique Stevenson), the Panthers’ 2024 first-round pick and a second round pick in 2023. 2025.
This 2024 first-round pick was a major target of the game, just as much as Young and Moore. The worst the Panthers finish this year — and they are between 1 and 8 years old — the higher this choice will be. And so it was also a win for the Bears’ draft prospects.
Foreman gave the Bears the lead with a 4-yard touchdown run with 6 minutes, 33 seconds left in the third quarter. Foreman, who had a breakout season for the Panthers in 2022, dropped back over the goal line to cap a nine-play, 38-yard drive for a 16-10 Bears lead.
It was the game’s first offensive touchdown after Panthers returner Ihmir Smith-Marsette’s 79-yard touchdown run and four first-half field goals.
The Bears started out with good field position on the touchdown drive thanks to the defense stopping the Panthers at their 4-yard line following a sack of Young by Yannick Ngakoue.
The Panthers began a drive at the Bears’ 40-yard line late in the third quarter, but back-to-back holding and offensive pass interference penalties pushed them back to first-and-30 at their own 40. But the Panthers rebounded to allow for Pineiro to take the upper hand. a 39-yard field goal to cut the lead to 16-13.
Halftime: Ihmir Smith-Marsette’s punt return gives Panthers 10-9 lead
In a game focused on rookie quarterbacks, a big special teams play was the highlight of the first half between the Bears and Panthers.
Panthers returner Ihmir Smith-Marsette weaved his way around several Bears defenders for a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter, and the Panthers took the game to a 10-point lead. 9 at halftime.
Rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent completed 14 of 24 passes for 127 yards in the half as the Bears settled for three Cairo Santos field goals. D’Onta Foreman had 10 carries for 34 yards.
Panthers rookie quarterback Bryce Young, the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft, completed 7 of 14 passes for 63 yards at the half.
Bears cornerback Josh Blackwell missed a tackle just after Smith-Marsette caught Trenton Gill’s punt with about 6 minutes left in the first quarter. Smith-Marsette shot through a few holes in the middle of the field before beating Gill one-on-one near the Bears’ 35-yard line. He then ran the rest of the way for his first career return touchdown and a 7-0 Panthers lead.
Santos kicked a 54-yard field goal to cut the lead to 7-3 with 2:34 left in the first quarter. Santos had an earlier attempt, but Cody Whitehair was called for a fake penalty, pushing Santos back 5 yards.
Panthers kicker Eddy Pineiro, a former Bear, made a 33-yard field goal early in the second quarter to extend the Panthers’ lead to 10-3. Santos then cut the score to 10-6 with a 36-yard field goal with 3:10 left in the second quarter.
The Bears started this drive on their own 47 after the defense made a big stop at the Panthers 9-yard line. The Bears pressured Young on three straight plays, with Justin Jones making the sack on third down.
Before Santos’ field goal, the Bears attempted fourth-and-1 at the Panthers 36, and Bagent hit Tyler Scott with a 15-yard pass to keep the drive alive. But the Bears finally stalled after two short runs and a Bagent miss.
Bagent led the Bears on a last-minute drive to set up Santos’ final field goal of the half, from 39 yards, to cut the Panthers’ lead to 10-9.
Bears cornerback Tyrique Stevenson is active for Thursday night’s game against the Panthers at Soldier Field.
The Bears announced Thursday afternoon that Stevenson was unsure if he would be able to play as he recovers from an ankle injury that forced him out in the second half of Sunday’s game against the Saints. New Orleans.
But Stevenson is active, and if he plays, the Bears could have their starting secondary full with safety Jaquan Brisker returning from a concussion.
The Bears previously ruled out linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (knee), right guard Nate Davis (ankle), fullback Khari Blasingame (concussion) and cornerback Terell Smith (mononucleosis).
Quarterback Justin Fields, who was considered questionable as he recovers from a right thumb injury, is also inactive. Rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent will make his fourth straight start in place of Fields.
Wide receiver and kick returner Velus Jones Jr. is a notable healthy scratch after several miscues piled up over the first half of the season. The Bears activated wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown from injured reserve on Thursday, clearing the way for Jones’ absence.
Defensive end Dominique Robinson is also healthy.
Along with St. Brown, the Bears activated defensive back Josh Blackwell from IR. They did not activate running back Khalil Herbert, who they designated to return from IR earlier this week. The Bears have 21 days from designation to activate Herbert.
For the Panthers, outside linebacker Brian Burns (concussion), cornerback CJ Henderson (concussion), tight end Stephen Sullivan (shoulder), wide receivers Laviska Shenault Jr. (ankle) and DJ Chark Jr. (elbow) and offensive lineman Nash Jensen are inactive.
Is there still time to prove that he is the QB of the future?
Maybe if the Bears weren’t on national television Thursday night for the second time in five weeks, Justin Fields could have taken a chance against the Panthers.
But coach Matt Eberflus announced undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent would make his fourth straight start, saying Fields was not medically cleared to return from a dislocated right thumb after another limited practice Wednesday.
It’s a safe bet that Fields will return for the Nov. 19 NFC North game at Ford Field against the Lions. At this point, there will be seven games left in a season that began with intense focus on whether the former first-round pick is indeed the franchise quarterback of the future.
It’s looking increasingly unlikely that the Bears will roll with Fields through 2024 and beyond, and it’s unfortunate that the thumb injury cost him a month to provide evidence otherwise. Read more here.
Brisker ready to “fly” in defense
Jaquan Brisker was trying to return from a concussion, his second in two seasons, Sunday in New Orleans, but said the Bears and doctors involved wanted to err on the side of caution.
Now, after missing two games, the strong safety is expected to start tonight. This will provide insight into the defense that we haven’t seen much of this season.
Brisker and free safety Eddie Jackson have been on the field together for about 1 1/2 games this season – the opener against the Green Bay Packers and small parts of the Week 2 loss at Tampa Bay and the loss of Week 6 against the Green Bay Packers. Vikings. That’s it.
With the secondary returning to form, the Bears must hope they can change a problematic trend. Read more here.
QBs can cry if they want
Quarterback Caleb Williams — a former Heisman Trophy winner and projected first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft — passed for 312 yards and three touchdowns for USC in a 52-42 loss to Washington.
He was pulled late in the second quarter and three plays later the Huskies took a 35-28 lead heading into the half. It was the fifth time in the last six games that the Trojans’ defense allowed at least 40 points.
After the match, Williams, 21, was shown sitting on a railing in the stands and kissing his mother, her face covered by a poster. He was visibly overcome with emotion, likely due to the frustration of seeing his conference championship hopes dissipate despite his best efforts. As he cried in his mother’s arms, national cameras stood there for a minute while ABC announcers Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit, in tones appropriate to the situation, provided context for what Williams could feel. Read more here.
Catch up with all our coverage before kick-off