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‘Sunday Night Football’ open thread: Bears at Chargers

A pair of two-win teams face off on Sunday night.

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Chicago Bears Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Will this week’s edition of “Sunday Night Football” be the cure that these struggling teams need?

The Los Angeles Chargers and Chicago Bears enter Week 8 with two wins apiece, both teams a disappointment, but for different reasons. The Chargers were hoping to reach the playoffs again in 2023 after a Wild Card loss the year prior, but a 2-4 record has them in the gutters of the AFC. The offensive firepower is there, as Justin Herbert, Keenan Allen, and Austin Ekeler are no slouches, but the defense is seriously lagging behind. Ranked 29th in defensive DVOA, the Chargers could use a rebound against a lesser opponent like the Bears. However, a win is easier said than done.

The Bears are in a similar boat as the Chargers with a 2-5 record, but the expectations entering the season were far lower. Much like the Detroit Lions during their rebuild, the goal was to see growth from the roster, a team still a few steps away from being good. Unfortunately for the Bears, not much improvement has been made. The defense is still subpar at best, while Justin Fields failed to build upon his promising 2022 season. A thumb injury has shelved him for at least two starts, so getting the nod in his stead is undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent. Bagent and the Bears pulled out a win last week against the Las Vegas Raiders, though Brian Hoyer and Aidan O’Connell were a step down from starting-caliber quarterbacks. Can the Bears pull off back-to-back wins against a more formidable offense?

Here’s how to watch tonight’s game:

Date: Sunday, October 29, 2023
Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
Location: SoFi Stadium—Inglewood, CA
Announcers: Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth, and Melissa Stark

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