By Patrick Mangin ‘24
Last Thursday, the Bears overcame the Panthers on primetime Thursday Night Football with a 16-13 victory. The game was a matchup of two bottom of the barrel teams desperately searching for a win, but the Bears wanted it more.
The game started off hot for the Panthers with a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown, leaving Bears fans disappointed per usual. Both offenses greatly struggled for the rest of the first half with no more touchdowns being scored. However, the kickers shined with Bears kicker Cairo Santos, draining three field goals and Panthers kicker Eddy Pineiro making one.
A boring first half made for an even worse second half, with only 10 points being scored in the entire half.
Senior Billy Marzewski said, “It was the most boring game that I have ever watched the Bears play.”
Bears running back D’Onta Foreman continued his dominant stretch of games with a four-yard touchdown run ultimately putting the Bears in a position to win. The Bears defense held strong towards the end of the game led by the newly acquired edge rusher Montez Sweat, and star corner Jaylon Johnson. The Panthers were forced to attempt a 59-yard field goal in the closing minutes, which they missed giving the Bears their third win of the season.
This win was crucial for the Bears future. In the offseason, the Bears received the Panthers first round pick for 2024. This week’s loss put the Panthers at 1-8 and last in the league, meaning the Bears currently hold the first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Senior Tommy Amado said, “The Bears really need the first pick in the draft. They could trade down to get a much needed lineman, or pick the best player in the draft.”
After being led by backup quarterback Tyson Bagent for the past four weeks, the Bears hope to have Justin Fields back for next week’s matchup against the first place Detroit Lions.
Head Coach Matt Eberflus said, “I think he’s in a good spot. Again, we’ll know exactly where we’re going to be probably more on Wednesday.”