The Chicago Bears did what they were supposed to do. They beat a team they were supposed to beat. If they had let the 1-7 Carolina Panthers come into Soldier Field on a Thursday night and beat them, Friday morning might have had another Chicago coach getting let go. Fortunately, while it was definitely not pretty, the Bears came away on top 16-13 and got to celebrate their third win of the season.
It was clear that these were two of the worst teams in the league playing each other, and it was also clear that the Bears need their star quarterback to return. They had to almost play down to the competition because of how limited the offense was with Tyson Bagent's inability to push the ball downfield, and in a way it almost cost them the game. Thankfully, a great defensive effort made a bad Panthers offense look even worse than it is.
Chicago Bears Week 10 Winner No. 1: Kyler Gordon
While he has not made any highlight reel plays this season or been in the conversation much at all, Kyler Gordon has quietly been developing into one of the most reliable players on this defense. Matt Eberflus has used him in a variety of ways, all of which he is excelling. Now that Gordon has settled into the nickel spot on this defense, he looks more comfortable and confident than ever, and that was on full display against the Panthers.
Gordon's seven solo tackles were the most on the team, and his eight combined tackles were third for the Bears. He also had four tackles for a loss or no gain, only allowed 16 yards, and had a PBU. He was credited with two defensive stops to get the Panthers off the field as well.
What was even more impressive to see was how he impacted the game from his slot position. He is giving flashes back to 2018 Bryce Callahan in the way he blitzes from the slot and understands the timing and footwork of how to make the quarterback uncomfortable. Most of the time he knows he is not going to get home for the sack, but he has a unique way of disrupting a play by just making his presence felt whether he is rushing the pocket or forcing the quarterback to scramble.
Gordon can still hang on the boundary as well. In a couple of plays in this game, he got assigned to a player running a wheel route from the slot and was able to be physical enough to throw off the rhythm of the play without committing a penalty. He is maturing as a football player in one of the hardest positions to play in sports, and he is becoming a very important piece of this defense.