It was another grueling, up-and-down matchup as the Bears defeated the Panthers on the road 23-16 on Sunday.
With the win, the Bears improved to 5-1 on the 2020 season. Their defense showed up in a big way, notching four sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble. While the offense wasn’t nearly as good, it showed just enough life to pick up the win.
The Panthers won the time of possession, having the ball for 31:06 as opposed to the Bears’ 28:54. They also outgained Chicago 303 total yards to 261 yards and had 23 first down to the Bears’ 22. It didn’t matter in the end, though, as the Bears came away with the victory.
But now, let’s take a closer look at the playing time break downs for the Bears, as well as some individual stats.
Darnell Mooney has stepped into the de facto “WR2” role for the Bears, but Sunday saw him and Anthony Miller each see their fair share of snaps, often sharing time together in packages with three or more wide receivers. Mooney caught three passes for 36 yards, while Miller caught three for just 8 yards, including a questionable cut back that cost the Bears a third-down conversion.
Rashaad Coward stepped into the starting left guard role in relief for the injured James Daniels. No substitutions were made along the offensive line throughout the game.
Nick Foles had a rough game, completing 23 of his 39 passing attempts for a completion percentage of roughly 59 percent. He threw for 198 yards with one touchdown and an interception. He also contributed a one-yard rushing touchdown.
Allen Robinson led the Bears with five receptions for 53 yards, including the team’s biggest offensive gain: a 23-yard reception.
Foles targeted his tight ends plenty throughout the game, as the likes of Jimmy Graham, Cole Kmet and Demetrius Harris were targeted a combined 13 times. Graham caught five passes for 34 yards, while Kmet caught two passes for 20 yards, including the first touchdown of his NFL career. Harris was unable to come down with any of his targets. Kmet has typically seen fewer snaps than Harris, but the rookie appears to be slowly gaining on the veteran’s playing time.
On the ground, David Montgomery saw all but one of the carries at the running back position. He had 19 rushes for 58 yards, giving him a 3.1-yard average. The offensive line struggled to give him many holes to work with.
Roquan Smith led the Bears with 12 tackles, his second time reaching double-digit tackles in a game this season. Seven of his tackles were solo attempts. He also contributed one tackle for a loss and a pass breakup in coverage, and he was a key reason why Panthers running back Mike Davis was held to just two catches for three yards.
Danny Trevathan also reached the double-digit tackle mark, tallying 10 tackles on the afternoon. The Bears’ linebackers were able to make an impact in the stat sheet against the Panthers, who ran the ball 29 times: the exact amount of passes Teddy Bridgewater attempted that game.
The Bears as a team sacked Bridgewater four times on Sunday. Khalil Mack, Bilal Nichols, and Mario Edwards Jr. each contributed an individual sack, while Barkevious Mingo and James Vaughters teamed up for a half sack each.
Bridgewater had five of his 13 incompletions batted away by Bears defenders, with two of them being interceptions. Tashaun Gipson recorded his second interception of the season, while DeAndre Houston-Carson secured his first career interception late in the fourth quarter to seal the game off for Chicago.
Jaylon Johnson led the team with two pass deflections, though he did get beat deep a couple of times. Buster Skrine and Kyle Fuller didn’t break a pass up, but they were solid in coverage and contributed five and four tackles, respectively.
Eddie Jackson contributed a forced fumble, three tackles, and one tackle for a loss. He also had a pick-six that was called back due to a penalty.
Robert Quinn played mostly a rotational role for the Bears yet again on Sunday, playing on just 44 percent of snaps. He had just one tackle, but had half of a tackle for a loss.
All told, the Bears limited Carolina to 3.9 yards per carry on 29 attempts: a 112-yard outing. Bridgewater finished the game going 16-for-29 with 216 yards—a 55.2 completion percentage—throwing two interceptions and no touchdowns in the process.
*The above image has players that only played in the third phase.
Pat O’Donnell had a great day, punting the ball four times and placing the Panthers inside their own 20-yard line on three of his punts. He tallied 177 yards on his punts for a 44.3-yard average. He also had one touchback.
Cairo Santos went a perfect 3-for-3 on Sunday, nailing all of his field goal attempts and hitting both of his two extra point attempts. His longest field goal came from 55 yards out: a career high for the seven-year veteran. He also hit two field goals that were both from 31 yards out.
The Bears did not have any kick returns, as all five of Joey Slye’s kickoffs went for touchbacks. Ted Ginn Jr. returned one punt but muffed the ball and was unable to gain any yards on that attempt.
Artavis Pierce contributed one tackle on special teams.
All statistics and snap counts are taken directly from the NFL’s Game Statistic and Information System, as are the accompanying pictures.