The Los Angeles Chargers and quarterback Justin Herbert shattered any notion of the Chicago Bears’ progress in front of a national television audience at SoFi Stadium on Sunday night.
The Bears entered the game winning two of their last three games with a defense that had solid performances against the Washington Commanders, Minnesota Vikings and Las Vegas Raiders.
Then Herbert came out and completed his first 15 passes en route to going 31-for-40 for 298 yards and three touchdowns in a 30-13 Chargers victory.
The Bears (2-6), playing without starting safeties Eddie Jackson and Jaquan Brisker, allowed the Chargers (3-4) to score on all four first-half drives as they fell behind 24-7 at halftime . Bears linebacker Tremaine Edmunds also left in the third quarter with a knee injury.
Meanwhile, the underdog story of undrafted rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent of Division II Shepherd didn’t gain much traction.
Bagent, filling in for injured starter Justin Fields, completed 25 of 37 passes for 232 yards with no touchdown passes and two interceptions. He threw an interception to Ja’Sir Taylor in the first half and a pick to Derwin James in the second half.
The Bears trailed the entire game and managed just 73 rushing yards.
The Bears defense held the Chargers to at least two field goals in the second half.
The Chargers extended their 24-7 halftime lead when kicker Cameron Dicker hit a 53-yard field goal with 8 minutes, 51 seconds left in the third quarter.
Late in the third quarter, the Bears took a fourth-and-1 lead at their 29th yard, but Roschon Johnson was stopped without a gain by Joey Bosa and Sebastian Joseph-Day. The Bears prevented the Chargers from gaining much ground on their ensuing drive, and Dicker made a 46-yard field goal.
Bagent scored on a 1-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter, cutting the Chargers’ lead to 30-13. The 41-yard drive came after the defense’s only takeaway. Defensive lineman Zacch Pickens forced Austin Ekeler to fumble and TJ Edwards recovered.
This is how the game developed.
Bears safety Eddie Jackson is active for Sunday night’s game against the Chargers after missing more than four games with a foot injury.
Jackson injured his foot in Week 2. He tried to play against the Vikings on Oct. 15 but said he “knew it wasn’t ready for his return.” His recovery progressed this week and he trained fully on Friday.
However, the Bears will be missing a key piece of their secondary.
On Saturday, safety Jaquan Brisker was eliminated after missing practice all week due to illness. Coach Matt Eberflus said Brisker returned to Halas Hall on Friday, but the Bears wanted to see how he felt before announcing his status.
The Bears announced Sunday morning that center Lucas Patrick was questionable to play due to a back injury. But he is active for the game.
Quarterback Justin Fields (thumb), right guard Nate Davis (ankle) and cornerback Terell Smith (mononucleosis) were out Friday. Defensive end Dominique Robinson is a healthy player after the Bears recalled defensive end Khalid Kareem from injured reserve this week.
The Chargers have tight end Gerald Everett, safety Jaylinn Hawkins, running back Elijah Dotson, offensive lineman Zack Bailey, wide receiver Alex Erickson and defensive lineman Christopher Hinton inactive.
Halftime: Herbert’s 3 TD passes give the Chargers a 24-7 lead
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert tore apart the Bears’ defense in the first half on Sunday to give his team a 24-7 lead.
Herbert completed his first 15 passes and finished the half 21 of 25 for 212 yards and three touchdowns. After the Bears cut the Chargers’ lead to 10 points, Herbert led a nine-play, 75-yard drive in the final two minutes, capped by an 11-yard touchdown pass to Donald Parham Jr.
The Bears played without starting safeties Eddie Jackson and Jaquan Brisker. Jackson, dealing with a foot injury, was active during the game, but Duron Harmon started in his place. Substitute Elijah Hicks started in place of Brisker, who was sidelined due to illness.
Bears rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent completed 10 of 15 passes for 121 yards with an interception in the half.
After facing questions about his arm strength all week, Bagent opened with a 41-yard pass to Darnell Mooney. But the Bears scored minus 1 yard on the next two plays, runs by D’Onta Foreman and Trent Taylor. On third-and-11, Joey Bosa quickly dismissed Bagent.
On the Bears’ third drive, Chargers cornerback Ja’Sir Taylor Bagent intercepted a pass that missed well past DJ Moore.
The Bears finally got on the field when Darrynton Evans ran 11 yards for a touchdown on third-and-4 with 1 minute, 47 seconds left in the second quarter. The Bears converted three more third downs on the drive, on two passes from Bagent to Moore and another to Cole Kmet.
The Chargers took a 7-0 lead when Herbert completed a short pass to Austin Ekeler, which flew past linebacker TJ Edwards for a 39-yard touchdown. That capped a 10-play, 92-yard drive on the Chargers’ first possession.
Herbert’s 9-yard touchdown pass to Simi Fehoko, who lost Jaylon Johnson as he crossed the field past Parham, gave them a 14-0 lead. The Chargers began the drive at their 45-yard line after Velus Jones Jr. was called for fair catch interference, a 15-yard penalty, on returner Derius Davis.
Herbert’s first incompletion came when defensive end Khalid Kareem broke up a pass on third-and-3 at the Bears’ 25-yard line midway through the second quarter. Chargers kicker Cameron Dicker then hit a 43-yard field goal for a 17-0 lead.
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“The most important thing I learned is that the margin for error is much smaller.”
Every week of Darnell Wright’s rookie season, social media examined how the Chicago Bears’ first-round pick was doing – clips of him Plow a path in the running game with his athleticism, holding his own to give quarterback Justin Fields time, and, yes, getting beat by experienced pass rushers.
But the film of Wright’s performance against the Las Vegas Raiders and two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Maxx Crosby on Sunday was unusual. For several plays in the Bears’ 30-12 win, it looked like Wright was keeping Crosby away from backup quarterback Tyson Bagent with the use of only his right arm.
Wright battled a left shoulder injury in practice last week, and coach Matt Eberflus said he pushed through the pain to help a Bears offensive line that paved the way for 173 rushing yards and allowed just one sack of Bagent. Eberflus praised Wright for “getting it done,” even if it didn’t look pretty at times.
It’s worth keeping a close eye on Wright’s status this week as the Bears prepare for Sunday night’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa will try to hunt Bagent, who is expected to make his second start instead of Fields. Read more here.
Bears quarterback Tyson Bagent completed 21 of 29 pass attempts for 162 yards and a touchdown and posted a 97.2 passer rating in his first NFL start last week. He also had three carries for 24 yards. Bagent averaged 7.7 yards per completion and did not attempt a pass that went more than 15 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, but still led the Bears to a resounding victory.
Of the last 10 quarterbacks to make their first NFL start with the Bears – Bagent, Justin Fields, Mitch Trubisky, Matt Barkley, Caleb Hanie, Kyle Orton, Craig Krenzel, Rex Grossman, Henry Burris and Shane Matthews – Bagent’s first start is Ranking second and his overall mileage fifth. Read more here.
Cook County Commissioner Monica Gordon is encouraging the Bears to consider Country Club Hills, throwing out what her office calls a “Hail Mary pass” to encourage the team to consider the south suburb pull.
Gordon said in a news release Tuesday that she and Country Club Hills Mayor James Ford “encourage the team to view the south suburbs as an opportunity to have a positive economic impact on a part of the Chicagoland area that is all too is often ignored.”
“We’re in the dark here,” Ford said. Read more here.
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