D’Onta Foreman ran for a touchdown and the Chicago Bears boosted their shot at the top pick in next year’s draft, beating the Carolina Panthers 16-13 on Thursday night.
The matchup between teams among the bottom five in the NFL delivered about as much drama as expected. But Chicago (3-7) made enough plays to come away with the victory.
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The Bears also boosted their chances at the No 1 pick because they have Carolina’s first-rounder in 2024. They acquired the pick along with DJ Moore last March for the top selection this year. The Panthers (1-8) are tied with Arizona – who play Atlanta on Sunday – for the worst record in the NFL. However, they have a weaker strength of schedule than the Cardinals, which would give Chicago the No 1 pick if the season was to end today.
Foreman gave the Bears a 16-10 lead in the third quarter with a four-yard run. Chicago were clinging to a three-point lead with 1:40 remaining when Carolina’s Eddy Piñeiro attempted a 59-yard field goal, which landed well short.
Moore caught five passes for 58 yards against his former team. Rookie Tyson Bagent threw for 162 yards in his fourth straight start with Justin Fields sidelined because of 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.
2024 NFL draft order
Carolina’s Ihmir Smith-Marsette returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. But Bryce Young, coming off his worst game as a pro, had another rough outing. The No 1 draft pick this year was 21 of 38 for 185 yards with a 68.4 passer rating, after throwing three interceptions and having two returned for scores in a loss to Indianapolis.