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

Three Takeaways from Bears win over Panthers

by - Senior Writer -

It may not always be the prettiest thing in the world, but the Chicago Bears will take any win they can get. Their latest victory came Thursday night against the Carolina Panthers, as a strong defensive performance held the Panthers under 250 yards of offense while not allowing a single offensive touchdown.

The Panthers did pick up a special teams touchdown earlier in the game, but after that, it was all Chicago as they withstood a 59-yard field goal from Eddy Pinero that came up short. Still, it was a win the Bears desperately needed, as they now get to enjoy a mini-bye week in order to prep for the stretch run of their season.

Helping to secure the No. 1 pick

This was one of the biggest topics heading into the game last night, as there was much more at stake than some people realize. Entering the game, the Panthers held the No. 2 pick in the draft, with the Bears holding the No. 3 pick. As part of the DJ Moore trade this past offseason, the Bears own the first pick for the Panthers this season, so with every loss, it helps secure the top overall selection.

Unlike last season, when the Bears traded away their top pick to get Moore, there isn't a scenario where Chicago would part ways with the first pick this season, especially when you look at who will be available at that spot. Chicago has an opportunity to draft a franchise-altering player, as Caleb Williams and Marvin Harrison Jr are the most prominent names right now. Whether the Bears pick first or second, Harrison Jr is the perfect fit as he would give Justin Fields the game-changer WR the Bears have lacked, and you could pair him with Moore.

Justin Fields ready to go

It has been four games since Fields saw action in a regular season game as he continues to nurse a dislocated thumb. However, Fields has been practicing more the past two weeks, and from all accounts, he will be ready to go by week 11 next week.

When you compare his numbers to Tyson Bagent's, you can see why many want Fields back under center. He was leading the league in touchdown passes at one point this season and finally started to put it together until he got hurt. The one advantage that Bagent has over Fields is the overall record as Bagent is 2-2 compared to the 1-5 by Fields.

Stats can sometimes be deceiving, and Fields may have the stats you want but lack the overall wins. In a league where wins and losses matter, Bagent will continue to get consideration under center each week as he finds ways to win games, even if he isn't putting up the best numbers during those games.

The Bears have a pass rush

No one will sit here and say the Bears have an elite pass rush, but since trading for Montez Sweat, their pass rush has improved, and the defense looks better because of it. Last night's game against Carolina was an indicator of how much they improved, but keep in mind the Panthers offensive line is terrible, so you can't gauge their success off of this game.

You can look back at week nine last week when the Bears were at New Orleans. Sure, they lost that game, but it took five turnovers to knock the Bears out, and they still only lost by seven. Their defense was a significant reason for that, as they played their tails off last week to keep things close. Sweat came in and made an immediate impact last week, and that continued against the Panthers as he is finding ways to get after the quarterback to make them uncomfortable.

When that happens, it takes the pressure off the rest of the defense, and now you are seeing the young guys step up. Despite the Bears pass rush having fewer than 15 sacks on the season, they did come away with four last night and have 10 sacks in their previous five games after having just four over their first five.

The Bears also continue to play the run exceptionally well, as they are the toughest team to run the ball against this season. You have to start winning games at some point, but watching these young players develop every week is certainly something the Bears have been waiting for.

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