With somewhat greater than 6 minutes to play within the third quarter , Chicago Bears working again D’Onta Foreman handled the “Thursday Night Football” viewers to a uncommon leisure surge. Down contained in the Carolina Panthers 5-yard line, Foreman knew he had a shotgun handoff coming and sensed with how the protection was aligned the center would seemingly be clogged.
Thus, when Foreman took the soccer from rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent, he shortly planted and reduce. “I just bounced it back (right),” he stated.
Foreman immediately noticed Panthers linebacker Frankie Luvu coming excessive and accelerated.
“I knew it was going to be a bang-bang kind of run. It was just kind of mano a mano. May the best man win.”
Foreman did, bouncing off Luvu’s sort out try on the 2, spinning again inside and powering backward by way of security Vonn Bell on the aim line.
In the Bears’ terribly grindy 16-13 win at Soldier Field, that was the sport’s solely offensive landing. Fittingly, it punctuated an eight-play, 39-yard drive by which the Bears took full benefit of terrific area place and did simply sufficient to surge forward 16-10.
“I thought (that drive) was solid,” Bagent stated. “Good play-calling, a good mix of things (with us) getting out on the edge, running the ball effectively and taking completions. … It was good to at least capitalize on one of those when it was direly needed.”
That was some of the notable offensive sequences throughout an evening by which the Bears and Panthers mixed for 508 yards on 127 performs. It was, at occasions, a painful look ahead to the prime-time viewers.
The Bears’ longest acquire lined 16 yards — on the sport’s first snap, a fast Bagent throw to DJ Moore, who discovered area after which did his factor, albeit with somewhat little bit of admitted astonishment.
“I was shocked,” Moore stated of that first catch. “Because that’s not what we had gone over. When it happened, I was like, ‘Oh, we’re going to start this party early.’ So I was happy.”
Asked for his tackle Moore’s response, Bagent regarded perplexed himself.
“I don’t know why he would be surprised,” Bagent stated. “He is the best player on the field. So we try to get the guy the ball.”
Whatever. It was simply that form of evening. And so be it, proper?
Truth be advised, the Bears didn’t a lot win Thursday’s recreation as a lot as they outlasted one of many worst groups within the league.
In the absence of crowd-pleasing highlights, they no less than eradicated turnovers from their routine and, by and huge, averted backbreaking errors.
The victory wasn’t actually safe till former Bear kicker Eddy Piñeiro got here up properly brief and broad left on a desperation game-tying 59-yard area aim try with 1:35 remaining. (Somehow, the Panthers wanted 14 performs and 5:30 of recreation time simply to arrange that long-shot kick.)
A couple of performs later, Bagent delivered the win-sealing first down with an 8-yard completion to Darnell Mooney on third-and-7 with 1:23 left.
That was a little bit of a calculated danger with offensive coordinator Luke Getsy dialing up a passing alternative in a textbook working scenario however reminding his rookie quarterback that it could be OK to take a sack if Mooney was lined.
“It was great communication between me and Luke, understanding what was needed and what we were looking to do,” Bagent stated.
It was a good higher catch by Mooney, who secured the ball whereas absorbing an enormous hit.
With all of the failure the Bears have skilled over the previous few seasons, they weren’t about to apologize for Thursday’s victory.
“It wasn’t the prettiest performance,” Moore stated. “But we found a way to win. And that’s all that matters in this league.”
Added cornerback Jaylon Johnson: “A win is a win.”
As ugly as Thursday’s recreation could have been, the Bears nonetheless had loads of encouraging moments.
Foreman’s landing, for instance, was a part of an evening by which he fought by way of a first-half ankle harm to contribute 92 yards from scrimmage.
The Bears protection, in the meantime, made life uncomfortable on Panthers quarterback Bryce Young all evening lengthy, sacking him thrice, holding him to 185 passing yards on 38 makes an attempt and never permitting a landing on 9 Carolina possessions. (The Panthers’ lone finish zone go to got here on an early 79-yard punt return from Ihmir Smith-Marsette.)
Sure, the Bears did not drive a turnover for the fifth time this season. But the Bears restricted Carolina to a season-low 213 yards and disguised coverages all evening towards Young, unnerving the rookie quarterback all through.
“We did a heck of a job,” Johnson stated. “It was just about giving him different looks, playing good coverage on the back end, making him have to hold the ball a little bit and then hoping for the D-line to finish it.”
Bears kicker Cairo Santos additionally chipped in, making all 4 of his kicks. Five for those who rely the 49-yarder he nailed within the first quarter that was negated by a Cody Whitehair penalty. But Santos shortly reset, used that first attempt as a instructing instrument and struck once more instantly from 54 yards.
“There was a little right-to-left wind kicking in that direction,” Santos stated. “But when I tried the first one, I saw it basically fly straight. So honestly, that cleared my head. Just like, ‘OK, I don’t have to play any wind. Just hit a clean ball and it’ll get there.’ It actually kind of eased my mind. I knew I could get it there. And that first kick kind of gave me the confidence with how to play it.”
Those sorts of contributions add up in video games like Thursday’s and the Bears have been thrilled to go into an extended weekend off with constructive power and a renewed sense of perception.
“We’re going to keep fighting,” security Eddie Jackson stated. “We’re going to maintain chopping wooden. No matter what occurs. No matter the circumstance, everyone on the sphere goes to rally round one another and discover a technique to make performs.
“We’re trying to show what we can do when everyone’s on the same page and locked in with an attention to detail. This was just a preview of it.”
Sure, this was a too-close-for-comfort win towards a now 1-8 opponent. But it’s all relative, proper? And for these Bears, at this stage of their climb, it’s OK to acknowledge they’ve now received their previous two video games at Soldier Field, apparent progress after they went 392 days between residence victories.
The Bears are additionally now 3-3 over their final six video games, enjoying the next high quality of protection and attempting to get one thing going. Anything.
“You just grab hold of that momentum,” Jackson stated. “Everybody knows how it feels when you win. So we got ourselves a little bit of that momentum. But now it’s time to go on a run.”
The Bears nonetheless have seven video games left and two months of a season to try to salvage. They will want triumphs way more convincing than Thursday’s to ascertain any kind of significant route. But a loss Thursday evening would have been completely dreadful. Sidestepping that counts for somewhat one thing. And these good vibes the Bears will carry into Week 11 matter, too.
“For us in this locker room, we just really need this,” Foreman stated. “Just trying to get these guys rallied back up. I really think if we stay together and the defense keeps playing lights out like they have been, we can get a bunch more wins.”