INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- The Tyson Bagent Show made it to Hollywood on Sunday night, but it quickly went from Tinseltown dream to Southern California nightmare for the Bears and their rookie backup quarterback.
The Bears have a clear formula for how they want to play with Bagent under center. They want to run the ball, control the clock, limit mistakes, and win grind-it-out affairs.
Built for a shootout, the Tyson Bagent-led Bears are not.
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But Justin Herbert and the Chargers didn't get the memo Sunday. The Bolts scored on each of their first four possessions to take a quick three-score lead and force Bagent to engineer a primetime comeback.
That task was too much for the undrafted rookie from Shepherd as the Bears fell 30-7 at SoFi Stadium.
Bagent finished the game 25-for-37 for 232 yards, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions. Bagent also rushed for a score. The Bears' offense lacked flow early on, and once they got behind by two scores, the Chargers' star-studded defense made life miserable for Bagent.
Here's what we learned in the Bears' 30-13 loss in LA.
Opening strike could have been more
Bagent opened the game with a 41-yard pass to Darnell Mooney. The Bears wide receiver made a diving catch but was never touched down. Mooney popped up and kept running, but the refs blew the play dead. The Bears wound up having to punt on the drive.
The Bears' defense has been much better over the last three games, but they had few answers for Herbert and the Chargers' offense in the first half.
Herbert completed his first 15 passes of the game, and the Chargers scored on each of their four first-half possessions to take a 24-7 lead at halftime.
The Chargers had 16 first downs and averaged 6.9 yards per play in the first two quarters.
The Bears got zero pressure on Herbert and struggled to tackle in the open field. Running back Austin Ekeler caught five passes for 91 yards and a touchdown in the first half, including a 39-yard touchdown on a screen pass.
Good and bad from Bagent
The Chargers and Brandon Staley got the best of Bagent on the Bears' third possession. The Bolts bluffed like they were bringing pressure but dropped seven. Bagent fired a ball toward DJ Moore on the left sideline, but Ja'Sir Taylor easily picked it off.
Bagent bounced back on the next drive, though, engineering a 14-play, 75-yard drive that included pretty third-down throws to Moore and tight end Cole Kmet.
Midway through the drive, Bagent had Velus Jones Jr. wide open in the end zone, but the receiver fell down and dropped a would-be touchdown pass. Bagent shook that off and delivered a dart to Kmet for 10 yards to move the sticks on third-and-8. Darrynton Evans capped off the drive with an 11-yard touchdown run to make it 17-7.
The Chargers quickly answered with a nine-play, 75-yard drive that took only 1:43 to stretch the lead to 17 at halftime.
Bagent was 10-for-15 for 121 yards and one interception in the first half.
The Chargers stretched their lead to 30-7 with two third-quarter field goals, and the Bears lacked the firepower to mount a comeback.
The Bears gained just 65 total yards on their first three possessions of the second half and failed on two consecutive fourth-and-short attempts.
Herbert finished the game 31-for-40 for 298 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. It was a clear reminder of how much easier life is with an ultra-elite quarterback. It was also a reminder that the Bears' defense is not as improved as the performances against the Vikings and Raiders would have some believe.
Truth about Tyson
Bagent's performance in the Week 7 win over the Las Vegas Raiders was worthy of praise for what it was -- he operated a conservative game plan and relied on the run game and defense to carry the day.
The overreaction to an OK day was expected, but the Chargers showed Bagent's limitations Sunday.
He is, after all, still an undrafted rookie out of Division II Shepherd. He has talent and potential. He might end up being a quality backup quarterback. Maybe he can be more.
But for now, he's a 23-year-old undrafted rookie who can only do so much at the NFL level. There were a number of impressive throws. There were also misses and mistakes that are common for any rookie.
The Bears found a good backup quarterback in Bagent. There's always a chance he will develop into a starter. But right now, he has a ceiling, and there's no quarterback competition in Chicago.
There never was.