Velus Jones Jr. was wide open for the Chicago Bears in the end zone. And he just fell down.
Jones, who is the highest drafted running back or wide receiver by the Bears since 2018, hasn’t done much as a pro but he was all alone for a big touchdown on Sunday night against the Los Angeles Chargers. He lost his footing, Tyson Bagent‘s pass hit him in the chest as he sat on the ground and it fell incomplete. That summed up the night for the Bears.
There have been a couple of positive moments for the Bears this season and plenty of reminders that they’re still a long way away due to plenty of hiring and personnel mistakes. The Bears were playing a 2-4 Chargers team and lost handily, falling to 2-6 with a 30-13 defeat.
The Bears’ wins this season have been fun and allowed fans to get excited, but it’s still going to be a while until Chicago is ready to contend. Sunday night was a reminder of that.
Bears fall behind early
There was excitement for Bagent after he made his first start for injured Justin Fields last week. If you hurry before they’re deleted, you can find social media messages from plenty of Bears fans predicting Bagent would take Fields’ job.
Bagent is a great story out of Division II Shepherd College and has some promise, but there’s a reason Bears fans have been overly excited for him since the preseason. They haven’t had too much else to get fired up about lately.
The game started great for the Bagent bandwagon, as he threw to Darnell Mooney for 41 yards on the first play of the game. Mooney didn’t appear to be touched but a whistle blew, seemingly robbing Chicago of a quick touchdown. That was bad for the Bears, because any scoring plays were hard to come by after that.
Bagent wasn’t terrible, but he didn’t make much happen either. He did throw a bad interception in the first half, and the Chargers turned that into a field goal. The Chargers scored touchdowns on their other three first-half possessions. On the first touchdown, Austin Ekeler made linebacker T.J. Edwards look foolish by making him miss in the open field, and Ekeler scampered for a 39-yard touchdown.
The Chargers were just better than the Bears in all ways. And it’s not like this is a great Chargers team.
Chargers overwhelm the Bears
There was some offseason optimism about the Bears, and it hasn’t been much better than last season when Chicago earned the first overall pick of the NFL draft.
Fields’ injury, which came right as he was starting to get hot, didn’t help. But Bagent hasn’t been bad in his place. There’s just a lot of work to do on the roster. The pass rush isn’t good enough. The offensive line is getting better but needs some work still. The receiving room is a lot better than at the beginning of last season but still needs another playmaker or two. It’s all a work in progress.
The Chargers deserve credit. Justin Herbert played his best game of the season. He completed all 11 of his passes in the first quarter for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Ekeler looked like he was finally healthy after spraining his ankle earlier this season. The Chargers defense did well in limiting the Bears offense.
The Chargers are simply much more talented than the Bears. That won’t change overnight. At least every Bears loss gets them a little better draft position for next spring.