Chances that Bagent Shows that He Can Compete for the Starting Job Are Not Great This Week

Brad Biggs at the Chicago tribune answers your questions.

“What will Tyson Bagent have to do to keep the starting job when Justin Fields is healthy? — Dan B., Roselle

“A handful of versions of this question appeared in the mailbag this week. My first reaction is we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves. Bagent has one solid start to his credit and wasn’t asked or forced to do a whole lot as the Bears relied on a quick passing game and a dominant running game.”

“A likely best-case scenario for Bagent is he plays well and Fields’ dislocated right thumb needs a little more time to heal and he gets another start the following week in New Orleans. If Bagent can string together three strong starts — and that’s an IF considering the history of this offense — then the Bears probably have a discussion, especially entering a short week with a Thursday game at Soldier Field on Nov. 9 against the Panthers.

“Never say never, but I still envision the Bears turning back to Fields when he’s healthy. But they have to play the games, and the results will give us a much better clue.”

A couple thoughts here.

  1. I tend to agree with Biggs but I look at this from the other side. This season is all about Fields and how well he plays.

The Bears have made a major investment in Fields. They have to know what they have in him by the end of the year. Unless he misses a lot of time, I think that they can reasonably conclude that whatever he is at the end of the year, that’s who he is and their decisions can flow from that.

But that’s if he plays. If he doesn’t, then that’s less data that they have to go on and it makes their decision making process murkier.

  1. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Bears may struggle this Sunday and Bagent will naturally struggle with them. Again from Biggs:

“Where have other teams found success going against the Chargers this year? I am surprised that they only have as many wins — two — as the Bears. — @ajlight315

“The Chargers’ 2-4 start is certainly a little surprising, and coach Brandon Staley said they needed to ‘reset’ after Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs. They have been particularly terrible defending the pass. They are 32nd in the league in both passing yards allowed per game (310) and yards allowed per pass attempt (8.09). Opponents have a 105.6 passer rating, which ranks 31st, ahead of only the Broncos (114.2).

“While the Chargers have a formidable pass rush led by former Bear Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa, they have allowed big plays galore. That makes it interesting to see what kind of game plan offensive coordinator Luke Getsy hatches this week with undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent making his second career start. How much will Getsy ask Bagent to do knowing the Chargers have ongoing issues on defense?

The Chargers are better than their 2-4 record indicates. Three of their four losses were to the Dolphins, Cowboys and Chiefs. Those are good teams and the Vikings, who are the other team to beat them, are also better than their record.

The Chargers are a bad match up for the Bears. They present blurry looks on defense that can confuse even veteran quarterbacks.

The spread the last I checked was Chargers -9. I think that gives you a clue as to how this is going to go.

The Bears will be better off playing Fields and keeping Bagent on the bench. The time spent there will be good for Bagent’s development and the Bears have plenty of time in the future to spend with him. There’s no hurry.

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