Once again, Chicago Bears UDFA QB Tyson Bagent enters the weekend set & ready to start the latest ‘biggest game of his life’.
Last weekend he handled business against a Brian Hoyer-led Raiders team on his homefield at noon. A huge win, and a rare achievement among the UDFA QBs throughout NFL history.
As a reward, he’ll now face the one and only Justin Herbert in primetime on Sunday Night Football with what remains of the Bears season hanging in the balance. If that wasn’t enough pressure on its own, the game is also on the road.
It’s a massive moment for the rookie QB. Frankly, it’s a massive moment for the entire Bears coaching staff, as you know Matt Eberflus would do nearly anything to start the first win streak of his Chicago tenure start on a night where the entire nation will be watching.
This game feels dramatic — the stage is set. I’m leaning into the moment and I hope you do too.
But once the game kicks off, which matchups are going to dictate the flow of the game? What advantages can Chicago exploit within a depleted Chargers roster? In the latest episode of Bear With Us, Nick and I talk through all of this and much much more. Check it out and let me know what you think!
Within the podcast, Nick and I picked out the 2 matchups on Offense & Defense that we each think are going to drive this game. I’ll let you search out our explanations within the podcast itself, but here are the matchups each of us chose:
Nick’s Key Matchups:
- Offense: Marcedes Lewis’ Chip Blocks vs Khalil Mack
- Offense: Cody Whitehair & Lucas Patrick vs LAC’s Lackluster DTs
- Defense: TJ Edwards vs Austin Eckler
- Defense: Andrew Billings vs a weak LAC Interior OL
My Key Matchups:
- Offense: Tyson Bagent vs ‘The Moment’ (How will he respond when the Chargers inevitably force him to adjust?)
- Offense: DJ Moore vs Asante Samuel
- Defense: Tyrique Stevenson vs Keenan Allen
- Defense: Justin Herbert attacking Zone vs Tremaine Edmunds
You may have ‘felt’ this on Sunday, but Tyson Bagent’s dropback speed holds up to the stopwatch — compared to Justin Fields, Bagent currently saves about a half-second on 5-step & 7-step dropbacks through crisp footwork. That extra half-second seems to help Bagent stay alive in the pocket & distribute the ball quickly, which resulted in the Bears’ OL giving up their lowest QB hit total of the year (3 QB hits compared to Fields’ average of 8 QB hits per game).
I’m really happy with how the video accompaniment came out — check it out if you’ve got ~52 seconds. You may be surprised at how stark the difference is.
Directly comparing the two #Bears' QBs dropback tempo is wild.
Tyson Bagent reaches the top of his drop about a half-second (0.5s) faster than Justin Fields on 5-step & 7-step dropbacks — this gave Bagent more flexibility when dealing with pressure, and it may help explain why… pic.twitter.com/nuhQv4Hjdm
— Robert Schmitz (@robertkschmitz) October 25, 2023
Your Turn: How are you feeling about Sunday Night’s Game?