Report Card: Bears position grades after loss to Chargers
Jonathan Hui - USA Today Sports

Report Card: Bears position grades after loss to Chargers

by - Staff Writer -

The Bears began this season with heightened expectations after they finished with a league-worst 3-14 and traded the No. 1 overall pick in a deal to acquire DJ Moore and draft capital.

The Bears added exponentially to the offensive line and the defense and were widely anticipating a big improvement in 2023. However, it has gotten off to an extremely rough start week on against Green Bay, Tampa Bay, Kansas City, and even the Denver Broncos by vulture of a blown lead. It was already ugly, but I don’t think anybody could have expected it to look this abysmal for the Bears through eight weeks.

However, the Bears finally found the win column after a 40-20 drubbing of the Commanders out East on Thursday Night Football in week 5 and in week 7 in a 30-12 win over Las Vegas.

This week, the Bears could not stay in the W column, losing 30-13 on SNF to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Here are the grades after the loss:


Justin Fields was out for the Bears, and Tyson Bagent led the way under center. The rookie was not as good as his debut. He was 25-of-37 and threw two interceptions. However, he did have a touchdown dropped by Velus Jones Jr. and had a rushing touchdown. He has so far performed admirably in Fields’ absence.


Khalil Herbert is on injured reserve and rookie Roschon Johnson made his return from a concussion. So it was former Panther D’onte Foreman (who had been a healthy scratch) who led the way with nine carries and 34 yards. He also one reception for 1 yard. Johnson has six carries and three catches for a combined 31 yards. Newly acquired Darrynton Evans carried 4 times for 18 yards and three catches, he also scored a TD. The Bears were the league’s top rushing offense a year ago, expect them to continually get this unit involved, and it should open up the pass game as well.


This unit was one that was supposed to take one of the largest steps from last season to this one, and it took a step back on Sunday. Chase Claypool was traded to Miami, but DJ Moore had just four catches for 55 yards, three weeks after the best game of his career with eight catches for 230 yards and 3 TDs. Darnell Mooney had a catch for 41 yards and a carry, and he should have had a touchdown. Tyler Scott had one catch for 11 yards, and Trent Taylor had one carry. Velus Jones Jr. had one catch and a crucial touchdown drop. This group needs to continue to be better in the coming weeks.


Highlighted by the newly paid Cole Kmet, this group was better. Kmet had 10 catches for 79 yards, and Robert Tonyan had just one grab.


Similarly to last season’s debauchery, the offensive line has been a weakness. However, they only allowed one sack to Bagent, and the line opened up holes in the game to save the ranking too. A good Bears season is dependent on this group improving.


The defensive line was much better in stopping the run but could not generate pressure in the passing game. The Bears generated not one sack of Justin Herbert.


No Roquan Smith headlining this group, but they are still the defense’s strengths. New additions T. J. Edwards and Tremaine Edmunds combined for 14 tackles. Jack Sanborn had a busy evening as well. They will remain the base of this Bears defense that needs to be better.


The Bears were finally with Kyler Gordon and Jaylon Johnson but were without Eddie Jackson and Jaquan Brisker, and they turned in a disastrous effort. Johnson was good, as usual, but the secondary surrendered big play after big play.


Cairo Santos was 1/1 on PATS, and Trenton Gill got 1 of his three punts inside the 20. The return game was quiet.


The eighth game of the second season of the Matt Eberflus era was not much better from the play-calling department. According to a new released metric, the Bears play calling has been the worst in the NFL — which has been no surprise to those who watch this team week in and week out. Last week they were less timid with Bagent under center, and I thought this aggression was something to monitor upon Fields’ return. However, this week they were hesitant to take any big shots. Not good.

The Bears play the Saints this week and will try to get back in the W column.

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