Tyson Bagent did a lot right as he led the Bears offense in a 30-12 win over the Raiders on Sunday. But to former Bears coach Dave Wannstedt, the undrafted free agent rookie quarterback did one thing particularly well that ended up being particularly important.
“He got rid of the ball,” Wannstedt said on NBC Chicago’s morning news show. “He made quick decisions, good decisions and got the ball out of his hand quick. It really helped the offensive line with the protection, and it gave him an opportunity to throw the ball.”
Not only was Bagent quick and decisive when throwing the ball, he made accurate passes in rhythm with the offense and threw balls with anticipation. That helped wide receivers catch the ball in stride.
Stay in the game with the latest updates on your beloved Chicago sports teams! Sign up here for our All Access Daily newsletter.
It may not seem like much, but that’s tough for any rookie quarterback to do, let alone a UDFA from a D-II school.
Bagent’s numbers from the Bears win don’t pop off the chart. His 21-29 passing line was highly efficient, but his 162 passing yards and one passing touchdown are pedestrian by most standards. Those less-than-spectacular numbers shouldn’t be held against him, though. The Bears didn’t need Bagent to go crazy through the air since their run game was so effective and their defense stifled the Raiders throughout the day. Instead, the Bears needed somebody to operate the offense reliably and control the overall game script.
Wannstedt noted the Bears didn’t change the game plan too much, and Bagent was able to execute. It is worth noting that the Bears did not call the designed runs we typically see with Fields under center, so that gave Bagent more opportunities to complete quick, easy passes. Wanny also liked how much Bagent spread the ball around.
“It wasn’t just throwing to one particular guy,” Wannstedt said.
Bagent completed passes to eight receivers total. Fields’ season-high is completions to nine different receivers.
The Bears said Fields is doubtful to play against the Chargers on Sunday Night Football next week, so it’s looking like Bagent will get another shot to show what he can do– and another shot to help the Bears win.