What History tells us about Bears and Panthers
Jim Dedmon - USA Today Sports

What History tells us about Bears and Panthers

by - Senior Writer -

The history between the Carolina Panthers and Chicago may not go back that far, but it comes with plenty of interchangeable parts unrelated to the games. The most notable connection is head coach John Fox, who led the Panthers for nearly a decade and took them to their first Superbowl with the likes of Jake Delhomme as his QB. Fox then landed in Chicago for a brief five-year stint, where the results were not great.

Sticking with the interchangeable parts, you have the QB connection where Jimmy Clauson, PJ Walker, and Andy Dalton all spent some time with Chicago, but also have spent time in Carolina. Dalton is the current backup for Bryce Young this season, but he has made one start and has gotten on the field quite a bit in the early part of the season. You then look at this season where D'Onta Foreman was the Panthers leading rusher a season ago and is now in Chicago along with DJ Moore who the Bears traded the No. 1 pick for last offseason.

There is no denying that these teams have been linked and connected in various ways, and that won't go away quite yet. As part of the Moore deal last offseason, Carolina also sent Chicago their 2024 first-round pick, which, as of right now, is going to be No. 1 or No. 2. Should the Panthers win this game, that pick potentially drops out of the top five. In contrast, a win by Chicago keeps them in the running for the top overall pick once again. These teams can't seem to get unconnected at this point, and that makes for some friendly competition.

Getting into the game side of things, the Panthers are one of the newest franchises in the NFL and have been around for 26 years. Over those 26 years, these teams have locked up 11 times, with the Bears holding a comfortable 7-4 lead in the series. Chicago kicked things off in style with a 31-6 win in their first-ever meeting in 1995 as the Bears introduced the Panthers to the NFL in a rather rude way.

That was the brunt of the success the Bears had early on as the Panthers went 3-1 from that game on through 2008, including back-to-back wins in 2006 and 2008. The 2006 game especially stings as that was the NFC Divisional playoff round that saw the Panthers advance to the NFC Championship game by a score of 29-21. Since that 2008 defeat, the Bears have made it a point to seize control of this all-time series, and boy, have they ever, as they have gone 5-1 since that defeat.

The lone loss in that stretch came in 2014 when the Bears went on the road to Bank of America Stadium and came away with a 31-24 heartbreaking loss. Since their last defeat against Carolina, it has been the Bears again establishing control of this series as they have gone nearly a decade since their last loss. Considering the direction the Panthers are in right now, I see that staying the same for a while, as Chicago will look to keep their stranglehold on the series longer.

One thing to consider about this game, apart from it being a short week, is that it will be played in Chicago at Soldier Field, where the weather conditions may not be ideal. When you look at how the Panthers have fared when coming to Chicago, it hasn't gone well, as the Bears own a 4-1 mark against the Panthers at home. Ironically, their only loss to the Panthers at home was during that 2006 NFC Divisional Round game as they are a perfect 4-0 against the Panthers at home during the regular season.

It has been six years since Carolina last traveled here, and the last time they did, it was the Bears coming away with a hard-fought defensive struggle 17-3. This was one of the games when Eddie Jackson put himself on the map as arguably the best safety in the game at that time as he not only had a 75-yard fumble return for a TD but added a 76-yard Pick-six to score most of the points for Chicago. Mitch Trubisky threw seven passes in the game and completed four of them as the Bears were held to just 153 yards despite the win.

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