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CHICAGO -- It was obvious early Thursday night that defense and special teams were going to play big roles as the offenses of the Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers were underwhelming. In the end, the Bears' defense was decisive in a 16-13 win.

It was a game that featured key pieces from a blockbuster offseason trade, when the Bears sent the No. 1 overall pick in the draft to Carolina for DJ Moore and a package of picks, including the Panthers' first pick in 2024. The Panthers used that to draft quarterback Bryce Young, who didn't do enough to get Carolina its second win.

Chicago, meanwhile, was led by undrafted rookie QB Tyson Bagent, who is 2-2 as a starter while Justin Fields recovers from a dislocated right thumb.

The Bears significantly increased their chances to earn the No. 1 overall pick. According to ESPN Analytics, the win gives Chicago a 42% chance for the top pick, which is the highest in the NFL.

Carolina (1-8) has scored only two touchdowns in the three games since Thomas Brown took over the playcalling. But it could just be an overall talent issue. The Panthers struggled offensively when Reich called plays as well, but not to this level.


The Bears might have found the secret to shutting down the Panthers' offense: contain wide receiver Adam Thielen. He was held to six catches for 42 yards, making Carolina's most consistent weapon basically a nonfactor.

The Bears have 10 days before they travel to Detroit to face the 6-2 Lions and could very well have Fields back under center for the first time since Oct. 15.

LOOK: The story behind every NFL team name

Stacker delved into the story behind every NFL football team name. Overall team records, also included, are reflective of NFL regular-season games. There are some football teams with well-known nicknames—the Jets, for instance, are often referred to as Gang Green—but we also divulge how some teams’ official names are sparingly used (the Jets’ neighbors, the Giants, are actually known as the New York Football Giants). Sometimes a team name can tell you a lot about local history: The Vikings of Minnesota draw upon the area’s strong ties to Scandinavia, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are dripping in local legend related to Florida’s pirate past.

Let’s kick off the countdown with the folks who earned their nickname by buying boxes of used team jerseys.

Gallery Credit: Seth Berkman

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