The appearance of the Chicago Bears was not a major concern. Their main focus was winning.
D’Onta Foreman scored a touchdown, helping the Bears improve their chances of securing the top pick in the draft. They defeated the Carolina Panthers 16-13 on Thursday night.
“At the conclusion of the day, it’s incredible to feel the satisfaction of all the effort we’ve put in, even if it hasn’t been aesthetically pleasing,” Foreman expressed. “Do you understand what I’m saying?”
The highly-anticipated game between two of the lowest-ranked teams in the NFL was just as exciting as predicted. Despite their record of 3-7, Chicago managed to make crucial plays and ultimately secure the win.
The Bears’ likelihood of securing the first draft pick has been increased as they possess Carolina’s 2024 first-round selection. This pick was obtained in a trade last March, along with Moore, in exchange for their top choice in this year’s draft. The Panthers (1-8) are currently tied with Arizona, who will face Atlanta on Sunday, for the lowest record in the NFL.
In the third quarter, Foreman increased the Bears’ lead to 16-10 with a 4-yard run. As the game wound down, Chicago maintained a three-point lead with 1:40 left on the clock. However, Carolina’s Eddy Pineiro missed a 59-yard field goal, falling well short of the goal post. The Bears solidified their victory when Darnell Mooney caught an 8-yard pass on third-and-seven at the 48-yard line.
Moore caught five passes for 58 yards against his former team.
Tyson Bagent made 20 successful passes out of 33 attempts, totaling 162 yards in his fourth consecutive game as the starting quarterback while Justin Fields was unable to play due to a right thumb injury. With the undrafted rookie from Shepherd University in West Virginia leading the team, the Bears have a record of 2-2.
Fields has not been on the field since he left a game against Minnesota in Week 6. Eberflus has consistently stated that he is still the starting quarterback for the Bears. However, he did not mention whether or not he anticipates Fields to make a comeback next week against Detroit.
Eberflus stated that they will assess the situation and make a decision based on the upcoming week. He also mentioned that Justin will resume his role as the starting player when he is fully recovered.
Cairo Santos successfully made three field goals. The Bears were able to increase their pass rush and sacked Bryce Young three times. This was a significant improvement for a team that had only achieved 10 sacks in the first nine games, the lowest in the league.
“They got swagger,” said defensive end Montez Sweat, who had three quarterback hits in his second game since a trade-deadline deal from Washington. “All these guys, I really love kind of like the plug and play. I’m really going along with them trying to figure out the energy that they’re bringing.”
In the first quarter, Carolina’s Ihmir Smith-Marsette scored a touchdown by returning a punt 79 yards. However, Young, who had a poor performance in the previous game, struggled again. As the top draft pick of the year, he finished with a 68.4 rating, going 21 of 38 for 185 yards and throwing three interceptions, two of which were returned for scores in their loss to Indianapolis.
Adam Thielen had a total of six receptions for 42 yards, resulting in the Panthers losing their fifth consecutive away game.
Young emphasized the need for improvement, stating that their defense was strong throughout the game but they still have room for improvement. He acknowledged that he needs to step up and make significant improvements himself.
Halfway through the third quarter, the Bears gained a 16-10 advantage with a 4-yard touchdown run by Foreman, who was previously on the Carolina team. This capped off a 38-yard drive after the Bears had pinned the Panthers deep in their own territory. Chicago chose not to attempt a 2-point conversion to increase their lead by seven points.
In the third quarter, Carolina had a significant chance when they took possession at the Chicago 40-yard line due to Trenton Gill’s poor punt. However, the Panthers faced two consecutive penalties, resulting in a 20-yard setback before reaching the 20-yard line. Pineiro then successfully kicked a field goal, bringing the game within three points in the fourth quarter.
Despite being outgained by 205 yards to 97, the Panthers were able to hold a 10-9 lead over the Bears at halftime. Chicago managed to run 42 plays, but could only secure three points through field goals by Santos.
In the first quarter, Smith-Marsette, who previously played for Chicago, scored a touchdown for the Panthers by returning a 79-yard punt. He evaded a tackle from Josh Blackwell and utilized a hesitation technique to get past punter Trenton Gill, marking his first ever TD return.
Santos of Chicago responded with a 54-yard field goal. Ex-Bear Pineiro also made a 33-yard field goal in the beginning of the second quarter, bringing the game within seven points. Santos successfully kicked two more field goals, including a 36-yarder with slightly over three minutes remaining and a 39-yarder at the end of the game, narrowing the score to just one point.
Both teams did not report any injuries.
The Panthers will be hosting the Dallas team on November 19th.
The Bears will be visiting Detroit on November 19th.
AP News Hub for the National Football League.