The Bears defense dominated the Panthers and D’Onta Foreman scored the decisive touchdown in a 16-13 victory Thursday night at Soldier Field.
The Panthers failed to score an offensive touchdown and were limited to 213 yards and 12 first downs by the Bears defense, which also recorded three sacks.
Foreman’s 4-yard run put the Bears ahead 16-10 in the third quarter. It was the only touchdown by either offense in the game.
The only other touchdown came from the Panthers’ Ihmir Smith-Marsette, who returned a punt 79 yards in the first quarter. Smith-Marsette, a former Bear, eluded three tacklers on his way to the end zone.
The Bears trailed 7-3 after Cairo Santos made a 54-yard field goal. His previous attempt from 49 yards was negated by a false start on Cody Whitehair.
The Panthers increased their lead to 10-3 on a 33-yard field goal by Eddy Piñeiro in the second quarter. The drive was sparked by a 45-yard pass from Bryce Young to Mike Strachan.
Santos added two more field goals before halftime, from 36 and 39 yards, to make it 10-9. The latter was set up by a 70-yard drive in 1:12 led by Bagent.
The Bears defense forced two punts to start the second half. After the second one, Foreman scored his touchdown with 6:33 left in the third quarter.
The Panthers closed the gap to 16-13 on a 30-yard field goal by Piñeiro with 11:06 remaining in the fourth quarter. The kick followed a pass breakup by Kyler Gordon on third down.
The Panthers overcame a first-and-30 situation on the drive, thanks to a 11-yard pass from Young to Tommy Tremble on fourth-and-6.
Piñeiro missed a 59-yard field goal that would have tied the game with 1:35 left. The Panthers went for it on fourth-and-10 from the Bears’ 41.
The win improved the Bears’ record to 3-7 and gave them their third win in six games after starting 0-4.