Time is Running Out for the Tyson Bagent Hype Train

Vince Carbonneau
November 15, 2023  (2:14 PM)

Tyson Bagent harbors a genuine NFL quarterback's potential, glimpses of which emerged last Thursday. Yet, with the sands of time falling rapidly, he must rapidly advance his skills to secure his place in the league past the current season.

Previously: The recurring theme for the Chicago Bears has been a tantalizing 'almost there.'
In their latest outing, the Chicago Bears eked out a 16-13 triumph over the Carolina Panthers in Thursday Night Football, dominating the running game at intervals, with Bagent playing the role of an effective game manager – mostly delivering a clean game and adhering to the planned strategy.
Post-game statistics may have left many appeased – Bagent completed 20 of 33 passes, amassing 162 yards in the air and contributing a modest 12 yards on the ground, steering clear of any turnovers.
D'Onta Foreman spearheaded the backfield with 21 carries, racking up 80 yards and a touchdown, contributing to the Bears' 133 total rushing yards. The team also bested the Panthers in possession time, 33:31 to 26:29.
Game Summary: Foreman's touchdown run aids Bears to edge past Panthers 16-13, enhancing their prospects for a top draft pick.
Victories, regardless of the play quality, are a rarity and warrant celebration in the NFL, a sentiment well understood by Chicago sports enthusiasts.
However, upon reviewing the game tape and expert analysis, Bagent's shortcomings slightly overshadowed his successful plays last Thursday.
Before proceeding, it's imperative to acknowledge Bagent's remarkable journey – from a Division II rookie undrafted quarterback starting for the Bears, an occurrence almost unprecedented in NFL history.
Opinion: The Bears excelled on Sunday, yet they face ongoing challenges.
Reflecting on the 2023 season, Bagent deserves recognition for buoying the team while Justin Fields recovered from his injury.
Despite the commendable feats, the NFL, at its core, is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately business. Bagent's recent performances have revealed promising quarterback play approximately 30% of the time, with the remaining showing less than optimal mechanics, decision-making, and anticipation, as evidenced in last Thursday's footage.
Bagent's early gameplay against Carolina was fraught with errors, including a pass that nearly resulted in an interception and two botched touchdown opportunities – one due to faulty footwork, the other a misread.
The first touchdown opportunity slipped away in the first quarter, while the second, a result of a miscommunication, came in the second.
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Moore's reactions on the field were telling of Bagent's urgency to improve. If Bagent had optimized his play, Moore might have significantly bolstered his stats in a matchup against his former team.
After dissecting Bagent's performance, it's clear that despite the evidence suggesting otherwise, Bagent showcased potential, especially in a pivotal play late in the second quarter.
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Other moments highlighted Bagent's capabilities, like a well-anticipated throw to Moore and a crucial third-down completion that sealed the Bears' victory.
Bagent exhibited the confidence and capability that garnered him the respect of his team, culminating in a win when it mattered most.
Looking forward, Bagent's challenge is to refine his skills to ensure that his team can count on him from start to finish.
Does Bagent have what it takes? I'm optimistic. If he improves even marginally, he's likely to secure his spot in the league for the foreseeable future. Otherwise, he may become a fondly remembered part of the Bears' history as the determined Division II player who demonstrated that with the right attitude and work ethic, anyone can make their mark in the NFL.
This article is part of a weekly column released every Tuesday following each Bears game for the remainder of the NFL season. For more on the Bears and other Chicago sports from WGN News, stay tuned to Eli Ong's updates.
Time is Running Out for the Tyson Bagent Hype Train

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