Sitting at 2-5 there are only a few things that Chicago Bears fans can get excited about. However, with their backup quarterback Tyson Bagent being 1-0 as a starter, there is some new life. Bagent is a small school rookie who was a UDFA, so he is a complete unknown. This gives Bears fans some life for the coming weeks. If they want to keep things rolling against the Los Angeles Chargers, these are the matchups that will change the game.
Matchup Struggle 3. Will Keenan Allen give the Chicago Bears trouble?
The Chargers are without Mike Williams for the rest of the year. Josh Palmer has stepped up in recent weeks, and they have a first-round rookie in Quentin Johnston as well. Still, the offense goes through Keenan Allen. Allen is having an excellent year, averaging 2.40 yards per route run. That is up from 2.11 last year and 2.08 for his career. A lot of that is because he is moving into the slot more.
Allen is running 64.6% of his routes from the slot, which is up from his 44.3% career rate. The Chargers are using him in the slot and getting the value out of it. It also keeps Palmer and Johnston in their correct roles. This will be a big matchup because he gets Kyler Gordon. Gordon has admittedly been a lot better this year.
However, he got hurt in week one, and the Packers did not have a slot to test him as they started rookie Jayden Reed. The Minnesota Vikings lined Brandon Powell in the slot for Gordon's return. On Sunday, he mostly saw Hunter Renfrow. He held him down, but the Raiders' game plan was to attack Tyrique Stevenson. This week, the plan will be to attack Gordon. This will be the first time he is truly tested since his poor rookie season. How will he perform?