Chicago Bears rookie Tyson Bagent will log his third consecutive start in place of the injured Justin Fields. Bagent’s second start did not go as smoothly as his first. That led to some poignant comments from Los Angeles Chargers EDGE rusher Khalil Mack.
“You could tell the clock in his head was running today,” former Bears and current Chargers EDGE Khalil Mack said, per Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic on October 29.
Bagent offered some pushback when presented with those comments.
“I mean yeah I mean you know they have Khalil Mack, Joey Bosa – they’ve got a solid d-line,” Bagent said on Wednesday. “They pressured a little bit. So really, yeah, just going through my progressions as usual. Nothing out of the ordinary. It wasn’t like I was wanting to get the ball out faster than I normally do. Just kind of … playing the game the way I know how.”
Bears QB Tyson Bagent Pushes Back on Khalil Mack’s Comments
Tyson Bagent ‘Playing The Game The Way I Know How’
Bagent finished the game completing 67.5% of his passes for 232 yards. But he failed to throw any touchdowns (he rushed for one) and threw two interceptions. And his time to throw was markedly quicker than it was in Week 7 versus the Las Vegas Raiders, per Pro Football Focus.
“He was getting the ball out pretty quick,” Mack said. “He did some good things for them down the stretch. I know he’s going to be a special player.”
There also seemed to be times when Bagent passed up throws down the field, though he started strong.
.@tysbagent's first throw of the game!!!! 👀
— NFL (@NFL) October 30, 2023
“The one that sticks out to me: DJ had a read route there early in the second quarter,” Bagent said. “Other than that, I thought I took advantage of some deep shots and was able to go through my progressions pretty smoothly. But that one does stick out, and that’s just eye discipline and having my body and eyes aligned to where I’m supposed to be at the right time.”
Tyson Bagent by the Numbers
There has been plenty of consternation over Bagent’s arm strength with the quarterback pushing back against that too. But his 6.2 air yards per attempt against the Raiders dropped to 3.8 yards versus the Chargers.
He also completed just 4-of-11 passes beyond 10 yards down the field, the same range in which he threw both interceptions.
The Bears’ offensive line also kept Bagent clean on 71.1% of his dropbacks in Week 8 (69.4% on the season). Notably, Moore voiced some frustration with the lack of targets in the game. He finished the night seeing six targets, catching four for 55 yards.
DJ Moore credited the Chargers for rolling their coverage toward him, but he was also "a little upset" he didn't get targeted more by the Bears.
Moore: "I feel like I was open sometimes, and the ball just didn't come my way."
Moore had 4 catches for 55 yards on 6 targets. pic.twitter.com/d5MHR1ll7E
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) October 30, 2023
But Bagent’s time to throw was also likely out of necessity with the Bears’ offensive line – still missing Braxton Jones and Nate Davis at left tackle and right guard, respectively – earning a lower grade than the week for in both of his starts.
Things might not get much better this week versus the New Orleans Saints either. Their defense grades out higher than any he’s faced so far, both as a starter and in relief. New Orleans’s nine interceptions are also tied for the third-most in the league this season.
Tyson Bagent Marveled at Montez Sweat’s Speed-Size Combo
Bagent also commented on new Bears EDGE rusher Montez Sweat, whom the team acquired from the Washington Commanders for a second-round pick at the trade deadline.
While he didn’t play, Bagent got to see Sweat in action when the Bears faced the Commanders in Week 5.