CHICAGO – D’Onta Foreman ran for a touchdown and the Chicago Bears put their shot at the top pick in the draft, beating the Carolina Panthers 16-13 on Thursday night.
The prime-time game between the bottom five teams in the NFL had as much drama as expected. But Chicago (3-7) made enough plays to come away with the win.
The Bears also increased their chances at the No. 1 pick. The Panthers (1-8) are tied with Arizona – who play Atlanta on Sunday – for the worst record in the NFL.
Foreman gave the Bears a 16-10 lead in the third quarter with a 4-yard run. Chicago was clinging to a three-point lead with 1:40 left when Carolina’s Eddy Pineiro made a 59-yard field goal attempt. The ball landed well short.
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Moore caught five passes for 58 yards against his former team. Rookie Tyson Bagent threw for 162 yards in his fourth straight start while Justin Fields was sidelined with a dislocated right thumb. The undrafted rookie from Division II Shepherd University in West Virginia didn’t see open receivers at times and completed 20 of 33 passes, after throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble last week in a loss at New Orleans.
Carolina’s Smith-Marsette returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. But Bryce Young had another rough outing, coming off his worst game as a pro. The No. 1 draft pick 1 this year, he was 21 of 38 for 185 yards with a 68.4 rating, threw three interceptions and recovered two for scores in a loss to Indianapolis.
Adam Thielen caught six passes for 42 yards, and the Panthers fell to 0-5 on the road.
The Bears grabbed a 16-10 lead midway through the third on a 4-yard run by Foreman – who spent last season with Carolina – to cap a 38-yard drive after the Panthers had pushed deep in their own territory. Chicago opted not to attempt a 2-point conversion to go up by seven.
Carolina got a big chance late in the third, taking over at the Chicago 40 after Trenton Gill shanked a punt. Back-to-back penalties forced the Panthers back 20 yards to start the drive, then gained the 20 before Pineiro kicked a field goal to make it a three-point game early in the fourth.
The Panthers led 10-9 at halftime even though the Bears outgained them 205 yards to 97. Chicago ran 42 plays, but Cairo Santos set up three field goals.
Smith-Marsette, who played part of last season in Chicago, gave the Panthers a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when he returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown. He broke a tackle with Josh Blackwell, cut through the middle and used a hesitancy move to get past punter Trenton Gill for his first career TD return.
Chicago responded with a 54-yard field goal by Santos. Former Bear Pineiro kicked a 33-yarder early in the second quarter to make it a seven-point game. Santos made two more field goals, hitting a 36-yarder with just over three minutes left and a 39-yarder as time expired, to make it a one-point game.
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