Nick Foles threw for one touchdown and ran for another, Chicago’s defense forced three turnovers and sacked Teddy Bridgewater four times and the Bears held on to beat the Carolina Panthers 23-16 on Sunday.
Once again, the Bears’ 27th-ranked offense was just good enough to win.
Foles finished with 198 yards passing and a touchdown and David Montgomery added 58 yards on the ground as the Bears (5-1) opened the season 3-0 on the road for the first time since 2006, when they reached the Super Bowl.
It wasn’t pretty, for sure, but Chicago improved to 2-1 with Foles as the starter. The 2018 Super Bowl MVP also rallied the Bears past the Falcons when Nagy benched Mitchell Trubisky in Week 3.
Chicago limited Carolina to 303 yards and the Panthers were 3 of 13 on third down conversions. Bridgewater was held to a season-low 216 yards passing and was intercepted twice. He was forced to scramble out of the pocket eight times while trying to avoid pressure.
On a fourth-and-2 from the Bears 36, D.J. Moore couldn’t haul in a one-handed catch on a pass that was slightly overthrown. Carolina’s defense came up with a stop, but safety DeAndre Houston-Carson intercepted Bridgewater on Carolina’s next possession to seal the win.
The Panthers’ struggles started from the opening kickoff, where they were flagged for an illegal block.
Mike Davis then lost a yard on the first carry, Bridgewater was sacked at the Carolina 1 and then intercepted by Tashaun Gipson on third down. That set up a 9-yard touchdown pass from Foles to rookie tight end Cole Kmet to give the Bears a 7-0 lead.
The Bears improved to 3-0 against the NFC South this season with wins against the Falcons, Bucs and Panthers. They look for the sweep on Nov. 1 when they host the Saints.
The Bears travel to face the Rams on Monday, Oct. 26.