That was an ugly game.
The Chicago Bears got the dub, but this game was an agonizing drudge of a watch for the national Amazon Prime audience. Even the announcers weren't interested, as Eagles center Jason Kelce got a lot of in-game interview time.
The Bears hung on to beat the Carolina Panthers 16 to 13 when former Bear Eddy Pineiro badly missed a 59-yarder that would have tied the game.
A glass-half-full optimist would tell you this was a defensive masterpiece, but this game featured a lot of bad offensive football, and that was mainly due to the two rookie quarterbacks.
Which was to be expected.
Rookie QBs tend to struggle, but if I didn't know which rookie was the UDFA and which was the first overall draft pick, I would have thought their roles were reserved.
The Bears outgained Carolina 295 yards to 213, they had more first downs (21 to 12), had a slightly higher yards per play (4.2 to 3.7), and were a bit better on third downs (40% to 20%). The Panthers converted all three of their fourth down attempts, while Chicago went one for one on fourth down.
For the seventh time this season, Chicago was penalized more than their opponent (7-44 to 5-45), and that only happened six times in 2022.
Let's look at the Bears' playing time breakdowns and a few individual stats.
Tyson Bagent struggled, and watching the game on Amazon's Next Gen Stats feed really accentuated that. The All-22 will tell the full tale, but on first viewing, he left some big plays on the field, went to his checkdown too quickly, and missed some layups.
But the biggest positive from his game was zero turnovers. He did what he had to do to keep his team in the game, and the other 52 guys did enough to get Matt Eberflus his sixth win as a head coach.
Bagent finished 20 for 33 for 162 yards and a passer rating of 73.0, and he performed admirably in his four starts. Justin Fields will likely be back for week eleven, but the Bears have to feel great about their QB2.
"Going out with a win is obviously fantastic for the team, Bagent said after the game. "I don't know if this is it. Nothing really changes for me with the preparation and how I'm going to attack every week, but I learned that it's really hard to win in the NFL. I appreciate all the wins. Just really I appreciate the team, staff and players included. They've all rallied behind me extremely well. I never had a doubt for a second that they all had my back."
D'Onta Foreman led the Bears in rushing with 80 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown. He also had 2 receptions for 12 yards.
DJ Moore had 5 catches for 58 yards on 9 targets.
Cole Kmet had 5 grabs for 45 yards and a 1 yard run on a QB sneak.
Roschon Johnson had 4 receptions for 14 yards and 5 runs for 18 yards.
Braxton Jones vs. the Panthers— PFF CHI Bears (@PFF_Bears) November 10, 2023
2 pressures allowed
0 sacks allowed
87.9 pass blocking grade (1st among Bears players)
T.J. Edwards led the Bears in tackles again with 12.
Jack Sanborn had 7 tackles and a pass defended.
Justin Jones had 3 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 QB Hits.
Yannick Ngakoue had a 2 tackles and a sack.
Rasheem Green had a tackle, a TFL, and a sack.
Montez Sweat had 0 tackles and 3 QB Hits, but his impact was felt all night.
Montez Sweat generated 8 pressures in his second game with the Bears, the most by a Bears pass rusher since Robert Quinn in Week 13, 2020.— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) November 10, 2023
Sweat has recorded 45 pressures this season, 5th-most in the NFL.#CARvsCHI | #DaBears pic.twitter.com/T5T7szpGqC
The Bears held Carolina to just 43 yards rushing and 2.7 yards per attempt.
Jaquan Brisker had 9 tackles, 1 TFL, and a PD.
Kyler Gordon seemed to be all over the field with 8 tackles, 2 TFL, and 1 PD.
Kyler Gordon was perhaps the best player on the field tonight— Brad Spielberger, Esq. (@PFF_Brad) November 10, 2023
- 4 tackles for loss/no gain, 2 more defensive stops
- 16 receiving yards allowed, 1 pass break up
Guy was all over
*The above image has players who only played in the third phase.
Trenton Gill was inconsistent on his 6 punts, with a 46.7 average, a 30.2 net average, and 3 punts inside the twenty.
The Bears allowed former Bear Ihmir Smith-Marsette to take a punt 79 yards for a TD, and according to Patrick Mannelly, the punt didn't have enough hang time, but the coverage was also poor.
Cairo Santos was 3 for 3 on field goals, and he nailed his only extra point.
To check out the complete Bears vs. Panthers box score, I find that ESPN has an easy-to-navigate site, so hit that link if you want to see all the numbers.
All statistics and snap counts are taken directly from the NFL's Game Statistic and Information System, as are the accompanying pictures.