Bears vs. Panthers Prediction: All eyes on the QB position
Kirby Lee - USA Today Sports

Bears vs. Panthers Prediction: All eyes on the QB position

by - Senior Writer -

Whether you love or hate the Thursday Night games, they are not going away, as the NFL has invested far too much money into that platform. While the overall criticism and quality of the games have come under fire, a significant reason for that is the matchups at hand, as the Thursday night games tend to be underwhelming at best.

This week is another one of those underwhelming matchups, and it happens to have the Bears playing as they will host the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night. Both of these teams are going nowhere this season, and with just three combined wins between the two of them, this has the potential to be an ugly game.

Take the game out of the equation for a bit, and there are many more things at stake, including draft positioning in next year's draft. When you look at the remainder of the Bears schedule, there are not many games where they should be favored, but this is one of the games where the Bears are favored and realistically should win.

Here are some things to focus on during the game.

The DJ Moore and D'Onta Foreman Revenge game

When the Bears had the No. 1 pick last offseason, they traded it to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for DJ Moore and other picks. Moore has been everything the Bears could have hoped for and more, but still has yet to be used as much as he could be. This week is where Moore should be targeted more and could have one of his best games this season.

It's not like Moore was traded away because he asked to be traded, but more so traded to help the Panthers improve their future. Whether Moore is happy about his current situation is a different story, but he could use that to fuel what some might call a revenge game of sorts. The same can be said about Foreman, who has started to come into his own in the past few weeks.

Foreman was the Panthers leading rusher a season ago, and after they let him hit the open market for free agency, he chose to sign with the Bears. If these two go out and do what they are capable of doing, it could be a long night for the Panthers defense.

Draft positioning

While acquiring Moore last season was a major steal for Ryan Poles, it wasn't the best part of that trade. That belongs to the draft compensation, as the Bears own the Panthers first-round pick this season. If you have been paying attention to their season so far, the Panthers are currently sitting with the first or second pick in next year's draft, giving the Bears two picks in the top five.

That is why this win is very crucial to them. Should the Bears win, they pick up their third win of the season, and granted that may knock them out of the top five, it keeps Carolina in the running for that top pick, which is good for this team. Should the Bears lose, it gets a lot more interesting as the Panthers will not only be outside of the top three, but they will move further down the draft order and passing the Bears up in the order. That could mean picking five and sixth as opposed to one and five.

It may not seem like that big of a deal because the Bears would still have two first-round picks, but losing four spots in the draft could be the difference between getting a guy like Marvin Harrison Jr or not. To say this game is crucial and has some added motivation would be an understatement, as the Bears want this win badly.

All eyes on the QB position

We are now one month and three starts into the Tyson Bagent era, and plenty of questions remain unanswered. From an offensive standpoint, the Bears offense has played much more consistently with Bagent, although his numbers haven't been that great. He is making the plays he needs to make, but he is also turning the ball over far too much.

To make things more interesting, Justin Fields is back at practice and has been practicing much more the past week. Although this team lists him as a game-time decision, Eberflus has already made it known that Bagent will start his third consecutive game. With the Bears getting a mini-bye week following this game, the QB topic will be one to follow before their next game.

With a win, Bagent will continue to get a vote of confidence from many people, which could make things interesting behind closed doors. Should he lose this game, Fields will be back for the next game as the Bears season will officially be over at that point. If you thought this team has had drama so far this season, buckle up. It is about to get taken to a whole new level.

Prediction: Bears win 21-13

This has the potential to not only be an ugly game but could live up to be the worst Thursday night game of the season. Both teams are struggling offensively, although the Bears showed more consistency until last week. Defensively, Carolina is the better of the two, but even they have been prone to give up the big play.

Ultimately, this will come down to the offensive line play and who can stand up more. Ironically, the Bears offensive line is much better than the Panthers so look for Montez Sweat and Yannick Ngakoue to potentially have a big game. This is a must-win game for Chicago should they want a shot at that No. 1 overall pick, and because of that, I like the Bears in this one 21-13.

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