The Chicago Bears blew out the Las Vegas Raiders 30-12 to win their second game in three weeks. The Bears did so, asking an undrafted rookie quarterback to make his first start.
The defense took advantage of Jimmy Garoppolo’s injury in Week 7. Raiders backup quarterback Brian Hoyer was looking to get his first win as a starter for the first time since he was in a Bears uniform.
The Bears played complimentary football for the second time this season. When they play good, they play really good.
But can they keep it up?
Here are three studs and duds from the Bears’ win over the Raiders.
Chicago Bears studs
Why has Foreman been placed on the inactive list so much this season? Foreman dominated the Raiders in Week 7. He ran for 89 yards on 16 carries for rushing two touchdowns. He added another 31 yards receiving and recorded a receiving touchdown.
Following his drop on the Bears’ opening series, Foreman made Bagent’s life easy against the Raiders. He needs to have more touches in the future.
Johnson came into this season, a contract year, knowing he needed ball production before getting a payday. Johnson made a rain money sign after his second interception of the afternoon. Johnson’s first interception resulted in a pick-6 that effectively ended any chance for a Raiders comeback.
It’s unclear if the Bears will re-sign Johnson this offseason or if they’ll trade him at the deadline. His two-interception performance came at the right time for general manager Ryan Poles, who will be able to market Johnson at a higher price.
Bagent did well enough to show he can be a solid backup quarterback at the NFL level. Bagent went 21/29 passing for 162 yards and one touchdown. He added 24 yards on the ground.
Bagent managed the game well. But there shouldn’t be a quarterback controversy in Chicago yet. Bagent didn’t face much adversity Sunday. He didn’t have to make throws while playing from behind.
Bagent throws a crisp short pass, and it was effective against the Raiders’ defense, which is ranked 23rd in EPA this season.
One reason why Bagent isn’t a long-term solution as a starter? Arm strength. The Bears had to bring in backup Nathan Peterman to throw a Hail Mary pass from the Bears 41-yard line at the end of the first half.
Chicago Bears duds
The Bears coaching staff is finding ways to look incompetent in blowouts.
The Bears wasted too much time on their final drive of the first half. The Bears opted not to take a timeout until nine seconds were left in the half. The Bears would have had a better chance to be in field goal range if the Bears had called timeouts earlier on the drive.
Instead, they asked Peterman to throw a Hail Mary pass, and he wound up fumbling the ball.
The Bears came into Week 7 holding the keys to the first and second overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. The Bears would still own the number one pick by virtue of the Carolina Panthers Bye Week, but their win won’t help them keep the second pick for next April.
Sadly, the Bears’ best chance of tanking appears to be with Justin Fields under center. But that’s why the Bears must pick a new quarterback in 2024.
It’ll be interesting to see if Poles will try to shop Fields this week after the win. Fields has a higher ceiling, but the average performance from Fields in year three is indistinguishable from how Bagent played against the Raiders.
Why is Peterman on the team? He’s been waived and re-signed several times this season, but the Bears seem to want to keep him around for some reason.
Peterman came in for three plays Sunday. His first and only real play was on the Hail Mary throw, and he fumbled the ball. Peterman’s other two snaps were to take a knee at the end of the game.
The Bears need to find another quarterback with a big arm for Hail Mary situations if Bagent is not an option.
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