In Short: He was very, very good for a UDFA rookie.
The theme of Tyson’s day was avoiding negative plays — sure, he made some big plays for his team (Scott 3rd & 5 early, the 2nd & 11 scramble, etc) and he kept the offense on-schedule, but you’re telling me a rookie QB with one week’s prep was responsible for only one negative play in 33 drop-backs? Get outta here!
Between Bagent & Luke Getsy’s rushing attack (which was surprisingly diverse), Chicago basically never stopped moving the ball forward. They didn’t generate many chunk plays (we’ll get there later), but they didn’t need to — Bagent was comfortable hitting 6 yard flat routes, checking the ball down in-rhythm, sneaking it on 3rd & short, and ‘canning’ (audibling) into rushing plays he liked when he saw fronts that matched up well for the Bears.
None of this is amazing in an NFL QB vacuum, but we’re not talking about a 5-year starter — Bagent’s a rookie! For him to play as consistently as he did without feeling the need to force the ball into unsafe windows was impressive in and of itself. Just take a look at Bryce Young — often, it’s a rookie’s eagerness to make a play that can undo them.
Most importantly, Bagent turned a few potential disaster plays (the checkdown to Blasingame, the play with a defender draped around his ankles, plus a batted ball early & another checkdown along the sidelines) into neutral plays or small positive gains for his team — his release is lightning fast and he commonly throws without his base anyways, so Bagent had no trouble whipping an accurate ball to a teammate when things got dangerous.
Here's a slowed-down look at where #Bears QB Tyson Bagent shined on Sunday — his play tempo & quick release stood out.
After the play-fake, his eyes go Flat -> DJ -> Mooney -> Kmet, but as he spots Kmet the pressure gets to him. Still manages to ditch the ball for a small gain pic.twitter.com/WNskeK17ju
— Robert Schmitz (@robertkschmitz) October 24, 2023
Again, across 33 drop-backs, the Raiders didn’t just end up with one sack… they only registered 3 QB hits in a game where Bagent’s RT might as well have been playing with one arm. And even when the Raiders pressured Bagent, he found ways to get the ball out of his hands. That’s a legit skill, and it’s the kind of skill that can keep your team’s chains moving on a day like last Sunday.