Three Takeaways from Bears blowout win over Raiders
Jamie Sabau - USA Today Sports

Three Takeaways from Bears blowout win over Raiders

by - Senior Writer -

Sunday's victory over the Vegas Raiders was a positive thing for the organization, but also one that came with mixed emotions. Sure, anytime you win in the NFL, it's a good thing, especially for an undrafted free agent making his first career NFL start. For whatever reason, the offense moved much smoother with him under center, which is something to watch for in the coming weeks.

One of the negatives from this win was that the Bears fell in the draft slightly and lost another position. Sure, they still hold the current No. 1 pick due to Carolina being winless, but the more wins this team has, the less likely they will pick twice in the first five picks. Most fans could care less about that, as they want wins more than picks.

Here are some takeaways from the Bears' second win of 2023:

Defense wins championships

There is an old phrase that constantly holds in the NFL: Defense wins Championships. The Bears are very familiar with that, especially going back to their last division title in 2018 when the defense won them a division title. Yet, for whatever reason, the Bears have gotten away from the defense the past few seasons, which has hurt them drastically.

They were the worst statistical defense in 2022, and things were not looking much better through the first four weeks of this season. However, the past three weeks have gotten fans more excited about things as their defense has started playing at the level everyone hoped for this season. With three more turnovers this week, the Bears have forced six turnovers in their past three games after forcing just two in their first four games.

Not only that, but they are starting to get after the QB more consistently, which was a major issue last season. Ryan Poles knew he needed to invest in the defense heavily this offseason, and he did that. Despite the early struggles, things are settling down with Matt Eberflus now calling the plays, as this defense is starting to play more confidently each week.

Keep riding the hot hand

When the Bears signed D'Onta Foreman to a one-year free-agent contract, he hoped to be a reliable backup to Khalil Herbert and give the Bears another excellent one-two punch. Then the team drafted Roschon Johnson, which pushed Foreman further down the depth chart to the point where he was a healthy scratch. That alone raised many questions to the point where many were wondering why Foreman was signed in the first place.

Well, if the last two weeks are any indication, it is clear why the Bears signed Foreman, but now they will face some tough decisions once Johnson and Herbert return from their injuries. Despite not playing a ton the first five weeks, Foreman never complained and continued to go to work to wait his turn. His turn finally came two weeks ago, and he has been nothing short of impressive since stepping on the field.

Not only has he led the team in rushing over the past two weeks, but he had three of the four touchdowns by the Bears this weekend to help jumpstart an offense that desperately needed it. That lone is more production than Johnson or Herbert has given the team this season, which is another thing the Bears need to focus on.

While Johnson and Herbert are the better long-term options, Foreman is likely better suited for this system and is the best option right now. Why fix something that isn't broken? If Foreman continues to play well over the next few weeks, it will be difficult for the Bears to pull him from the starting lineup. That is a problem, yes, but a good one for Chicago.

A QB controversy, brewing?

Sometimes all it takes is a new face for things to change, and that is what the Bears had under center on Sunday. With Justin Fields out of the game with a dislocated thumb, undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent made his first career start and delivered a victory. The former Division II product from Shepard, Bagent, has been playing with a ton of confidence since the preseason, which is why he won the backup job.

With one start under his belt and earning a victory, some are starting to think that a potential QB controversy may happen in Chicago. Granted, it is only one game, and there is a lot to consider; you have to look at the most obvious thing: how the offense looked. Yes, Bagent could have been better throwing for less than 180 yards, but he did two things well, which were managing the game and not turning the ball over.

That has been an issue for Fields since Day 1, and it has continued to hurt him now three years in. Another thing to note is that the offense just seemed more crisp with Bagent under center, which has to do with his reads in the pocket. Bagent seems to understand the defense better than Fields as he goes through his progressions and gets rid of the ball quickly.

Both are things Fields has always struggled with, and it is something he needs to fix in a hurry. No one will sit here and tell you that Bagent is a better QB than Fields. However, if the team plays better with him, you have to consider at least leaving him in the long term. The Vikings did that with Case Keenum a few years ago, and the 49ers chose to do that with Brock Purdy last year before making him the permanent starter. The Bears could face that decision soon if they continue to improve with Bagent under center.

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