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Grading Tyson Bagent, offense, defense in Chargers loss

Schrock’s Bears Report Card: Grading Tyson Bagent, offense, defense in Chargers loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Well, so much for the Cinderella story.

One week after Tyson Bagent helped lead the Bears to a dominating win over the Las Vegas Raiders, the undrafted rookie quarterback looked overwhelmed in a 30-13 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium.

Bagent had some nice throws, but the Chargers’ star-studded defense and head coach Brandon Staley rattled and confused him for most of the night.

But Bagent was far from the Bears’ biggest issue Sunday.

After putting together a complete performance against the Raiders, the Bears reverted to the sloppy, undisciplined mess they had been for most of the first eight weeks.

The Week 8 report card reflects a team that still has a long, long, long way to go.

Passing Offense

Knowing the Chargers would come out and take the quick game away, the Bears dialed up a deep shot to Darnell Mooney on the opening play. But that 41-yard completion was not a harbinger of good things to come.

The Bears immediately went three and out on the next set of downs and punted away. Bagent and the offense would spend the rest of the night playing catch-up.

Bagent made several nice throws Sunday night, a few of which came on third down to extend drives. But the Chargers did a good job of disguising coverages and confusing the rookie quarterback, and his inexperience showed.

Bagent threw two interceptions. The first one came from a miscommunication between him and DJ Moore. The second came when Darnell Mooney couldn’t secure a pass over the middle. Mooney was hit as he was securing the catch, and the ball popped up and into the hands of Derwin James.

Bagent finished the night 25-for-37 for 232 yards and two interceptions. The Bears did a poor job of getting the ball into the hands of their skill players. They need to make life easier for Moore, which will make it easier for Bagent or Justin Fields.

Tyson Bagent GRADE: D
Team GRADE: D-

Running offense

The Bears punched the Raiders in the mouth repeatedly during their Week 7 win at Soldier Field.

That same team didn’t show up to Los Angeles.

“It didn’t come with us from Chicago,” tight end Cole Kmet said of the Bears’ physicality. “That’s too bad because that’s our identity.”

The Bears rushed for just 73 yards on 25 carries. Their longest run of the day was 12 yards.

The offensive line lacked the force they dismantled the Raiders with, and once the Chargers got out to a three-possession lead, the Bears had to cobweb the run game.

GRADE: F

Pass defense

The Bears’ defensive improvement over the past three weeks appears to have been a mirage.

Who could have seen that coming?

The Bears’ defense played well against Sam Howell, Brian Hoyer, and a one-dimensional Vikings offense without Justin Jefferson.

Justin Herbert is a different beast.

The Chargers quarterback completed his first 15 passes on Sunday night en route to a 298-yard, three-touchdown day.

The Bears were undisciplined in their coverage and lacked fundamentals in tackling. The pass rush didn’t start pressuring Herbert until the game was already out of hand in the second half.

Back to the drawing board.

GRADE: F

Run defense

The Bears made the Chargers one-dimensional on Sunday, but that might not have been the best idea with Herbert pulling the strings.

The Chargers ran 25 times for 54 yards. Austin Ekeler picked up just 29 yards on 15 carries (1.9 yards per attempt).

It was another solid effort by an improving run defense, but it wasn’t to make a difference on Sunday.

GRADE: B+

Coaching

So much of the Bears’ issues come down to two things: Talent and coaching.

There’s nothing the 2023 Bears can do about the holes in their roster. They can’t make Justin Fields’ thumb heal faster or make it so Jaquan Brisker doesn’t get an illness that knocks him out of the game.

But where the Bears’ coaching staff deserved praise for the adjustments it made after the first four games, it deserves the blame for a team that looked unprepared and lacked juice in a primetime moment.

Head coach Matt Eberflus had no tools in his bag to slow down Herbert, and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy couldn’t push the right buttons to make things easier for Bagent in his first career road start.

That’s not going to get it done.

GRADE: D-

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