Week 8 recap: Chicago Bears fall to 2-6 as Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert carves them up in a 30-13 loss

The Los Angeles Chargers and quarterback Justin Herbert shattered any notion of Chicago Bears progress in front of a national TV audience Sunday night at SoFi Stadium.

The Bears entered the game winners of two of their last three with a defense that had put together solid performances against the Washington Commanders, Minnesota Vikings and Las Vegas Raiders.

Then Herbert came out and completed his first 15 passes on his way 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 of their first-half drives as they fell behind 24-7 by halftime. Bears linebacker Tremaine Edmunds also left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury.

Meanwhile, the underdog story of undrafted rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent, from Division II Shepherd, didn’t gain a lot of ground.

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 a first-half interception to Ja’Sir Taylor and a second-half pick to Derwin James.

Behind for the entire game, the Bears managed only 73 rushing yards.

The Bears defense at least held the Chargers to two second-half field goals.

The Chargers built on the 24-7 halftime lead when kicker Cameron Dicker made a 53-yard field goal with 8 minutes, 51 seconds to play in the third quarter.

Late in the third quarter, the Bears went for it on fourth-and-1 at their 29, but Roschon Johnson was stopped for no gain by Joey Bosa and Sebastian Joseph-Day. The Bears stopped 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 to cut 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 T.J. Edwards recovered.

Column: Dropped passes. Missed tackles. Bad penalties. Costly turnovers. Chicago Bears fall flat in another prime-time blowout.
Mistakes doom Chicago Bears offense, rookie Tyson Bagent in loss to Los Angeles Chargers

Here’s how the game unfolded.

Inactives announced

Bears safety Eddie Jackson is active for Sunday night’s game against the Chargers after missing four-plus 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 him to return. His recovery progressed this week, and he practiced in full Friday.

However, the Bears will be missing a key piece of their secondary.

On Saturday they ruled out safety Jaquan Brisker, who missed practice all week with an illness. Coach Matt Eberflus said Brisker returned to Halas Hall on Friday, but the Bears wanted to see how he felt before declaring his status.

The Bears announced Sunday morning that center Lucas Patrick was questionable to play because of 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 ruled out Friday. Defensive end Dominique Robinson is a healthy scratch after the Bears brought back defensive end Khalid Kareem from injured reserve this week.

For the Chargers, tight end Gerald Everett, safety Jaylinn Hawkins, running back Elijah Dotson, offensive lineman Zack Bailey, wide receiver Alex Erickson and defensive lineman Christopher Hinton are inactive.

Halftime: Herbert’s 3 TD passes give Chargers a 24-7 lead

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert picked apart the Bears defense in the first half Sunday to fuel his team to 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 were playing without starting safeties Eddie Jackson and Jaquan Brisker. Jackson, who has been battling a foot injury, was active for the game, but Duron Harmon started in his place. Backup Elijah Hicks started in place of Brisker, who was out with an illness.

Bears rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent completed 10 of 15 passes for 121 yards with one interception in the half.

After Bagent faced questions all week about his arm strength, he opened with a 41-yard pass to Darnell Mooney. But the Bears netted minus-1 yard on the next two plays, runs by D’Onta Foreman and Trent Taylor. On third-and-11, Joey Bosa quickly sacked Bagent.

On the Bears’ third drive, Chargers cornerback Ja’Sir Taylor intercepted Bagent on a pass that was well short of DJ Moore.

The Bears finally got on the board when Darrynton Evans ran 11 yards for a touchdown on third-and-4 with 1 minute, 47 seconds to play in the second quarter. The Bears converted three other third downs on the drive, on two Bagent passes to Moore and another to Cole Kmet.

The Chargers took a 7-0 lead when Herbert completed a short pass to Austin Ekeler, who blew by linebacker T.J. Edwards for a 39-yard touchdown. That completed a 10-play, 92-yard drive on the Chargers’ opening possession.

They went up 14-0 on Herbert’s 9-yard touchdown pass to Simi Fehoko, who lost Jaylon Johnson as he crossed the field past Parham. The Chargers started the drive at their 45-yard line after Velus Jones Jr. was called for fair catch interference, a 15-yard penalty, against 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 made a 43-yard field goal for a 17-0 lead.

Catch up on all of our coverage.

‘The main thing I’ve learned is the room for error is a lot smaller’

Every week of Darnell Wright’s rookie season, there has been social media examination of how the Chicago Bears first-round pick is faring — clips of him plowing a path in the run game with his athleticism, holding his own to allow quarterback Justin Fields time and, yes, getting beat by veteran 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 victory, it looked like Wright was keeping Crosby away from backup quarterback Tyson Bagent with the use of only his right arm.

Wright dealt with a left shoulder injury all last week in practice, and coach Matt Eberflus said he pushed through pain to help a Bears offensive line that paved the way for 173 rushing yards and allowed just one sack of Bagent. Eberflus commended Wright “for gutting it through,” even if it didn’t look pretty at times.

Wright’s status this week is worth monitoring closely as the Bears prepare to face the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night at SoFi Stadium. Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa will be trying to get after Bagent, who is expected to make his second start in place of Fields. Read more here.

5 things to watch in the Bears-Chargers game — plus our Week 8 predictions

Stats package

Bears quarterback Tyson Bagent — in his first NFL start last week — completed 21 of 29 passing attempts for 162 yards and a touchdown and posted a 97.2 passer rating. He also had three runs for 24 yards. Bagent averaged 7.7 yards per completion and didn’t attempt a pass that traveled more than 15 yards beyond the line of scrimmage but still guided the Bears to a runaway 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 rating ranks second and his passing yardage total fifth. Read more here.

Bears QB Tyson Bagent is confident executing the game plan in his 2nd start: ‘I don’t want to put any limits’
Bears Week 8 storylines: A supercharged Tyson Bagent debate, Tyler Scott’s growth mindset and Jaylon Johnson’s contract desires

Stadium news

Cook County Commissioner Monica Gordon is encouraging the Bears to consider Country Club Hills, throwing what her office described as a “Hail Mary pass” to encourage the team to consider the south suburb.

Gordon said in a news release Tuesday she and Country Club Hills Mayor James Ford “are imploring the team to look at the south suburbs as an opportunity to have a positive economic impact on a part of the Chicagoland area that is ignored all too often.”

“We’re taking our shot in the dark here,” Ford said. Read more here.

What to know about the Bears’ possible move from Soldier Field — and which other suburbs are vying for the stadium

Catch up on all of our coverage

Column: Matt Eberflus puts his stamp on an improving Bears defense that will face a tough test Sunday night
Bears Q&A: What would Tyson Bagent have to do to keep the starting QB job? Could they get an offer for Jaylon Johnson they couldn’t refuse?
True or false: Tyson Bagent’s performance in the Bears’ Week 7 win complicates the QB conversation
Will the Bears draft a QB in 2024? What to know about top prospects Caleb Williams and Drake Maye.
Bears CB Jaylon Johnson gets 2 interceptions to break 28-game streak without one: ‘I deserve to be paid’
10 key moments in George Halas’ life on the 40th anniversary of his death


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