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For Better (& For Worse), It’s Tyson’s Turn

| October 19th, 2023

There’s nobody more popular in Chicago, Illinois than the Chicago Bears’ backup QB, and he’s about to play the biggest game of his life.

This weekend, the Chicago Bears take on a Las Vegas Raiders team that’s best described as an NFL benchmark:

  • They have exactly one (and only one!) superstar on each side of the ball in WR Davante Adams and EDGE rusher Maxx Crosby
  • They have a good-but-not-great OL
  • They have a journeyman veteran starting QB that, due to injury, is likely being replaced by a journeyman veteran backup QB
  • They have a solid core of DBs that can run multiple coverages (even if they can’t always run them well)
  • They have a DL that, aside from Crosby, leaves quite a lot to be desired
  • And they have a Head Coach in Josh McDaniels whose in-game management leads to bizarre decisions that consistently keep scores closer than they should be

This Raiders team isn’t BAD, but they certainly aren’t good either — you can’t help feel like their offense should be higher-powered given a dynamic skill core of WRs Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers, and Hunter Renfrow as well as RB Josh Jacobs, but you can’t argue with successfully squeaking out games against the Broncos, Packers, and Patriots.

Those wins may not seem impressive, but Chicago’s 2023 Bears are living proof that wins against those opponents aren’t guaranteed. There’s a difference between being “The Bad Team That Loses To Other Bad Teams” and whatever the Raiders are — the gap between the two teams may not be wide, but so far the Raiders have consistently turned out wins where the Bears have found only losses.

On Sunday, Tyson Bagent hopes to change that.

In the latest episode of Bear With Us, Nick and I talk through the current state of the Chicago Bears, the players that impressed/disappointed us last Sunday, a preview of this weekend’s dance with Las Vegas, and much much more. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Bonus: Tiny Bagent Film Study

Bagent’s physical limitations are apparent, but I’m curious to see whether or not his passing mechanics will smooth out after a week of practice — on nearly all of Bagent’s throws from the pocket he threw almost exclusively with his arm & upper body (as in, he wrist-shotted most of his throws rather than planting his feet & driving the ball with both his lower & upper halves, (solid example in first clip below)), but since most throws were short-range the lack of follow-through didn’t necessarily affect accuracy or timing.

This summed up the entire problem on both of Bagent’s deep ball attempts though — he failed to root his feet and follow through when throwing the ball downfield. As a result, both balls died in the air, with the INT below ending the game.

Keep an eye on his throwing form this Sunday — I don’t expect him to look like a new man, but he should look more comfortable when attacking deeper throws after a week’s worth of practice reps as the starting QB. If he can hit even a few intermediate & deep throws for 20-30 yard gains, he should keep defenses honest and open up space underneath for his signature quick-release passing.

Also, will we see an increased role for Tyler Scott in the Bagent offense? I hope so — as the season turns towards preparing for the future, I’d love to see the Bears’ youngest WR get the reps he needs to grow. We know he’s got footspeed, but what else can he do within a cohesive gameplan? Hopefully we get the chance to find out.

Your Turn: How are you feeling about this weekend’s game?

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