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Bears vs. Panthers score: Chicago defense suffocates Teddy Bridgewater in Charlotte, Nick Foles does the rest

Things got off to a tough start for Teddy Bridgewater and did not end better as the Carolina Panthers lost a 23-16 game at home to the Chicago Bears. A sack put Bridgewater’s back against the shadow of his own end zone on the initial offensive drive, and an interception gave Nick Foles a short field with which he could operate, and he made them pay with a touchdown throw to Cole Kmet for to take the early lead to the Chicago Bears. The Carolina Panthers responded with a 14-game 72-yard drive that pushed all the way to the Bears 3-yard line, but fell just short and settled for a field goal to reduce the lead to four in the first quarter.

It was mostly a defensive competition, and as such was points for a prize. Foles looked far more efficient than Bridgewater for most of the game, and it was clear that Matt Nagy̵

7;s plan was to get the ball out of the quarterback’s hands quickly. Bridgewater struggled to do the same at its end, but did just enough to get the game close in the fourth quarter with the help of Mike Davis, Robby Anderson and DJ Moore – threatening to flee with an unlikely comeback victory.

However, the Bears were able to squeeze in and steal the win in what turned out to be one of the more exciting games in the NFL this weekend.

Why the bear won


They were in a prize in this NFC matchup, with both defenses getting a shot to make a game-changing play on more than one occasion, but when push came to absolute push, it was the Foles and the Bears offense that made the most out of their belongings in the red zone. They went up 20-6 at the end of the third quarter on a QB sneak from Foles to make their second successful red zone conversion in their first three attempts, making the Panthers a one-dimensional team in the final session. From there, it was simply a matter of keeping the pressure on a struggling Bridgewater – who could not find a groove in the passing large parts of the afternoon.

Foles was not perfect and he made his share of mistakes after firing for a 9-for-10 start on passing attempts, but he was effective and kept the Bears offense on track. Despite not having a big day in the way of rushing yards, the Bear enjoyed one afternoon watching Foles throw the ball around for multiple goals and not allowing the Panthers to enter Allen Robinson or a single receiver. Nagy’s flock won the third conversion rate, the red zone conversion rate, and got timely takeaways.

How to win on the road.

Why the Panthers lost

It took Carolina more than three-quarters to finally find the end zone.

They entered the fourth quarter without scoring a touchdown on two visits to the red zone – both were 70 plus yard drives that took more than six minutes around the clock but resulted in just two field goals – before finally converting to one-yard touchdown punch from Mike Davis. In a defensive clash like this left eight points on the field settled and bite them in the back, especially as the Panthers attacking line struggled to give Bridgewater a clean slate. He was fired four times a day, and while trying to use his legs to relieve the pressure, it simply wasn’t enough.

When Robby Anderson got involved – he only had five receiving yards in the first half before delivering two downfield games in the third quarter – the Panthers were already in a hole they could not climb out of and the fact that DJ Moore only disappeared further damaged the cause. The Panthers offense struggled to run, pass, convert third downs and score in the red zone.

It’s a formula for a loss.

Turning point

It arrived early in this as the pressure forced an unfortunate Bridgewater to throw a wicket to Tashaun Gipson on the Panthers’ opening drive. Foles and Kmet did the rest on a short field – lead Chicago would never give up.

Play the game

Can Bridgewater use one last chance to force overtime or seize the unlikely victory? DeAndre Houston-Carson says no, and thanks in part to the pressure Robert Quinn generated up front.

The coffin nailed.

Chicago won where it matters most

“Bears have the NFL’s best defense in the red zone. The Panthers have one of the league’s worst defenses in the red zone.” – Joe Person from The Athletic

What’s next

The Bears are now heading west for an NFC clash with the Los Angeles Rams, while the Panthers appear to be jumping back against the rival New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome – a daunting task.

Capture all the highlights and action from you that you may have missed from week 6 in the live blog below.

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