INGLEWOOD, Calif. – The Bears struggled on both sides of the ball Sunday night in a disappointing 30-13 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium.
The Bears trailed 14-0 after the first quarter, 24-7 at halftime and 30-7 after three periods.
"The start we had today was not what we wanted," said coach Matt Eberflus. "Offensively, we went punt, punt and interception, and then we went touchdown, touchdown, field goal and touchdown on defense.
"The glaring things that stood out to me and what my message was at halftime for the players was that we had a lot of penalties that set us back, our drives back on offense. The operation wasn't as clean as it needed to be. And then on defense, it was really simply about fundamentals. It was about basics. It was about cupping the ball. It was about having force pursuit apex, about our tackling and our angles. We need to do a better job of that. That's where they got their big plays and that's where they got their scoring opportunities.
"I thought the guys came out in the second half and did a solid job of that, but at that point we were down."
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert completed 31 of 40 passes for 298 yards with 3 touchdowns, no turnovers and a 122.7 passer rating. He was not sacked in the game.
Making his second straight start, Bears undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent connected on 25 of 37 passes for 232 yards with two interceptions.
With the loss, the Bears fell to 2-6.
"We didn't play complementary football as we have last week and the last couple weeks," Eberflus said.
On the game's first play from scrimmage, Bagent completed a 41-yard pass down the right sideline to a diving Darnell Mooney. But the Bears were forced to punt after Bagent was sacked by defensive end Joey Bosa on third-and-11.
"Nobody likes to lose," Bagent said, "so very disappointed that we couldn't build off of that, especially on that drive. But as far as what we were looking to do on that first play we accomplished, and I thought Mooney made a great catch."
Herbert followed by throwing touchdown passes on each of the Chargers' first two possessions to stake Los Angeles to a 14-0 first-quarter lead.
First, Austin Ekeler turned a screen pass into a 39-yard TD, capping a 10-play, 92-yard drive. After a second Bears punt, Herbert completed a 9-yard touchdown pass to receiver Simi Fehoko with :43 left in the opening period.
The Bears' next possession ended with a turnover as Bagent's pass intended for DJ Moore was intercepted by cornerback Ja'Sir Taylor at the Chargers' 43.
Los Angeles converted the takeaway into Cameron Dicker's 43-yard field goal, widening the margin to 17-0 midway through the second quarter. The kick came after defensive end Khalid Kareem, who was activated off injured reserve Saturday, broke up a pass over the middle. It was Herbert's first incompletion after he had connected on his first 15 passes of the game for 142 yards and two TDs.
The Bears cut the deficit to 17-7 on Darrynton Evans' 11-yard touchdown run with 1:47 left in the first half, capping a 14-play, 75-yard drive.
But the Chargers responded as Herbert engineered a 9-play, 75-yard drive in just 1:43 that culminated with an 11-yard TD pass to tight end Donald Parham Jr., increasing their lead to 24-7 with :04 remaining in the half.
In the first half, Herbert completed 21 of 25 passes for 212 yards with three TDs and a 141.6 passer rating.
Check out the on-field action as the Bears take on the Chargers under the lights on Sunday Night Football.
Dicker's 53-yard field goal on the Chargers' opening possession of the second half made the score 27-7.
Late in the third quarter, the Bears turned the ball over on downs when Roschon Johnson was stopped for no gain on fourth-and-1 at the Chicago 29.
Dicker's 46-yard field goal then widened the margin to 30-7 with 3:00 left in the third quarter.
The Bears reached the Chargers' 26 but turned the ball over on downs again when Bagent's pass on fourth-and-2 was broken up by cornerback Asante Samuel Jr.
Later in the fourth quarter, Bagent's pass deflected off Mooney and was intercepted by safety Derwin James Jr. at the Chargers' 19.
The offense capitalized as Bagent's 1-yard TD dive made the score 30-13 with 2:12 remaining.