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Bears vs. Panthers: Chicago defense strangles Teddy Bridgewater in Charlotte, Nick Falls does the rest

Things started rough for Teddy Bridgewater and didn’t end better as Carolina Panthers lost a 23-16 home battle to the Chicago Bears. A sack placed Bridgewater’s back against the shadow of his own end zone of the initial offensive drive and the interception gave Nick Falls a short field to operate, and he would make them pay with a touchdown to Cole Mayor to start the lead for Chicago bears. Carolina Panthers responded with a 14-game, 72-yard drive that went all the way to the Bears’ 3-yard line, but fell slightly and settled for a field goal to reduce the lead to four in the first quarter.

It was mostly a defensive race and as such, the points were at a premium. Fowles seemed far more effective than Bridgewater for most of the game, and it was clear that Matt Nagy̵

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

The Bears managed to hold on and steal the victory, which turned out to be one of the most exciting games in the NFL this weekend.

Why the bears won


They were in first place in this NFC game, with both defenses getting a chance to change the game more than once, but when the pressure was absolutely pushed, the Fowles and Bears attack was what made the most of their possessions in the red zone. They climbed 20-6 at the end of the third quarter when QB slipped away from Foles to make their second successful red zone transformation in their first three attempts, making Panthers a one-dimensional team in the final session. From then on, it was just a matter of keeping up the pressure on the difficult Bridgewater – who failed to find a furrow in the passing game for most of the afternoon.

Falls was not perfect and he made his share of mistakes after shooting to the top 9 for 10 in attempts to pass, but he was effective and kept the bears on the rails. Although they didn’t have a great day to rush the yards, the Bears enjoyed an afternoon watching Falls throw the ball to multiple targets and forbid the Panthers from entering Alan Robinson or any receiver. The Nagy Cup won the third down conversion factor, the red zone conversion rate and received timely products to take.

That’s how you 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, failing to score a touchdown on two visits to the red zone – both were the 70 yard upgrades that took more than six minutes off the clock, but resulted in only two goals on the pitch – before finally turn into a one-yard kick by Mike Davis. In a defensive collision like this, leaving eight points on the field, he bit them from behind, especially when the Panthers’ offensive line struggled to keep Bridgewater clean. He was fired four times a day, and while he tried to use his legs to relieve the pressure, it just wasn’t enough.

By the time Robbie Anderson got involved – he only had five yards at halftime in the first half before putting two plays down in the third quarter – the Panthers were already in a hole they couldn’t get out of, and the fact that DJ Moore was gone only further damage the cause. The Panthers’ attack was trying to escape, pass, turn a third drop, and score in the red zone.

This is a loss formula.

Turning point

He arrived early at the moment when the pressure forced a frantic Bridgewater to intercept Tashaun Gipson on the Panthers’ opening device. Falls and the Mayor did the rest on a short field – the lead of Chicago would never give up.

Game of the game

Can Bridgewater use one last chance to force overtime or win an incredible victory? DeAndre Houston-Carson says no, thanks in part to pressure from Robert Quinn.

The coffin is chained.

Chicago won where it mattered most

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

What next

Now the Bears are heading west for an NFC clash with the Los Angeles Rams, while the Panthers are trying to bounce back against the New Orleans Saints rival in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome – a daunting task.

Catch all the highlights and actions you may have missed from week 6 on the live blog below.

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