Both of these teams have struggled to win any games and have had their share of mistakes. It could be a sloppy game.
Let’s see what our experts have to say it will take for the Bears to come out on top.
Sam: Whether it’s Justin Fields or Tyson Bagent, the QB needs to play clean football. No turnovers. Keep the penalties to a minimum. Let DJ Moore take it to his former team. Brian Burns is a bad man, but the rest of the defense isn’t so scary.
For the defense, get after Bryce Young. He is talented, but he is a rookie. He is prone to turnovers. Get some turnovers.
Josh: Based on the recent success of the Raiders, I think that the Bears need to fire Poles and Flus. They should then promote whichever positional coach can give the most inspiring speech about overcoming adversity. See what happens.
Lester: Chicago needs everything to be perfect in order to even have a chance at a win these days, but unfortunately this team makes too many mistakes. The positive on Thursday is that the Bears are playing a team with a young and struggling quarterback, and that seems to be the only kind of QB the Bears can beat these days. In the Matt Eberflus era, the Bears have beat Trey Lance, Davis Mills, Mac Jones, Sam Howell, and the one outlier in this, 38-year-old Brian Hoyer, who isn’t young, but he’s certainly struggling. Regardless of who Chicago starts at QB, they need to attack Carolina with the run game and scheme up some touches for DJ Moore.
ECD: Offense - Just let Justin Fields (if cleared) and DJ Moore go crazy in the passing game. Brian Burns is likely out due to a concussion this week, and he’s the only player I’m really concerned about on the Panthers' defense.
Defense - Give way to the youth movement and give Gervon Dexter Sr. his lion’s share of the reps at DT. Frankly, just 14 snaps against the Saints was unacceptable, and adding Montez Sweat at DE should free up more opportunities for the younger DTs to play ball. Speaking about Montez Sweat - Design more stunts that allow for him to use his athleticism inside. He was pretty good in his debut against the Saints and just needs his coaching staff to scheme him up on more opportunities.
Special Teams - no negative plays. Up until this week they’ve been pretty good.
Jack R Salo: On offense, the Bears need to run the ball even if they’re losing. Whether it’s Bagent or Fields, you have a mobile quarterback, you have a big bruiser in D’Onta Foreman and could have Khalil Herbert back this week too. You also have an offensive line which is finding an identity smashing and pulling. Their commitment to the run remains a major key.
On defense, the Bears’ red zone D vs the Panthers red zone O will be important in determining a winner here. Every pro team will find scoring opportunities, but can the Bears hold the Panthers to field goals when the field gets short? Look for Eddie Jackson, Jack Sanborn, Montez Sweat, and Tyrique Stevenson to be involved in either allowing or stopping the kitty cats.
Taylor: Limit mistakes, multiple turnovers and penalties, and the Bears still had a chance against the Saints. The Panthers, as we know, are not a very good football team, but they will be coming into prime-time football wanting a win over the Bears after giving up their best RB and WR in the off-season. Still waiting on word as to who will be QB, so that will be a major factor, Brisker being back is huge. We saw some pressures from Sweat, now this week I’m predicting he finds the QB a couple times which I believe will help. Eberflus needs to stop with the Jones experiment and give more time to Dexter and Pickens, perfect game to do so.