Chicago Bears Defense Leads To Win Over Carolina Panthers
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.
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.
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Gallery Credit: Seth Berkman