The Chicago Bears ended another losing streak on Sunday. By beating the Las Vegas Raiders, they won their first game at Soldier Field in over a calendar year. Their last home win came in Week 2 of last season against the Houston Texans on September 25th, 2022. That covered ten games.
The win also gave rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent his first career win in his first career start. He did what was asked of him, passed just enough, and did not make any mistakes and the Bears came away with a 30-12 upset.
Everyone was interested in seeing how Bagent would handle his first NFL start. He came in relief of starter Justin Fields last week and had his ups and downs. He had a touchdown on a sneak and completed 71.4 percent of his passes, but he had two critical turnovers. One was a fumble that was taken in for a touchdown (which ended up being the difference in the game) and an severely underthrown pass late in the game that was intercepted. That play sealed the loss.
The Bears finally had a complete effort on Sunday. The defense again rose to the occasion. The unit had a terrific game for the second straight game. After holding the Minnesota Vikings to 220 yards of offense, the defense allowed 235 yards to the Raiders.
The Bears defense was especially tough on third down. Third downs have been the Achilles heel for the defense. However, after holding the Vikings to 2/13 they held the Raiders to 2/9. Additionally, the run defense has been excellent. Against Minnesota they gave up 46 rushing yards. They were even better against the Raiders, giving up 39 rushing yards. They held Josh Jacobs, last season's rushing champion, to 35 yards on 11 carries.
Moreover, cornerback Jaylon Johnson had a huge game. He had three tackles and two interceptions. One of them was a pick-six that sealed the victory for the Bears. Johnson has been the subject of a lot of trade talk. He is in the final year of his rookie deal.
Without progression on an extension, there was speculation about trading him. He would bring in some good draft capital. However, the Bears could decide to keep and extend him. Having a strong secondary is important and Johnson is definitely the best cornerback on the roster.
The focus on the Chicago Bears on Sunday was Bagent and he did not disappoint, helping them get their second win of the season.
Bagent was not spectacular (although some fans thought he was). He went 21/29 for 162 yards and a touchdown. He added 24 yards on 3 carries. He completed mainly short passes. The longest pass he attempted was 15 yards. However, his receivers did a good job of getting yards after the catch. DJ Moore's longest reception was for 15 yards. Darnell Mooney's longest reception was for 11, while Marcedes Lewis' was for 16, Tyler Scott's for 13, and D'Onta Foreman's for 17 yards.
Bagent did a great job of not trying to do too much. He took what the defense gave him. He did not commit mistakes that would hurt the offense. As mentioned before, he had two turnovers last week on five possessions. Against the Raiders he had zero turnovers.
Bagent had the fortune of having an excellent running game behind him. It seems that offensive coordinator Luke Getsy learned from last week's interception last week late in the game. The Bears' running game, led by Foreman, was wearing Minnesota down late but Getsy decided to go long.
This week, Getsy called Foreman's number a lot. He had 16 carries for 89 yards. More importantly, he found the end zone. He ran two of them in and caught Bagent's first career touchdown pass.
With a strong running game behind him, Bagent could relax and not worry about carrying the offense. He looked calm and confident on the field. He even motioned for the crowd to get louder after one of his runs. That swagger is what makes him a fan favorite and has his teammates loving him. On a side note, the top three quarterbacks taken in the draft all lost their first starts. Bagent, the undrafted rookie, won his first start.
It will be interesting to see what happens going forward. Head coach Matt Eberflus was asked in his postgame press conference if Fields was still the starting quarterback if he is completely healthy. He responded by confirming that Fields was the team's starter. We shall see if that is the case.
Next up for the Bears is another clash with an AFC West team. They travel to take on former Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack and the Los Angeles Chargers.