The Chicago Bears hosted the San Diego Chargers on Monday Thursday Night Football on ESPN. It was a great time for the Chargers to show their new team led by Coach Mike McCoy. The Bears also have a new coach, Marc Trestman, and they were ready to show off their new team. In a battle of new coaches, it would not be a good game for the Chargers.
The Chargers starting offense had 4 drives in this game. Their first drive was 5 plays for 10 yards and Rivers had no option but tight end Antonio Gates. The second drive was 3 plays for -4 yards. The drive ended when Rivers threw to wide receiver Keenan Allen and the ball was intercepted by Bears safety Chris Conte. The third drive was 6 plays for 29 yards. The drive ended when Rivers was hit from the blind side and fumbled. The final drive was 8 plays for 35 yards and it was a lackluster drive with no positive result.
Quarterback Phillip Rivers threw for 50 yards in this game. Both of his turnovers were not his fault, the blame is reserved for Keenan Allen and left tackle Max Starks. Allen tripped to allow the interception and Starks watched the defender sack Rivers. Allen also muffed a punt in the 2nd quarter. Running back Ryan Matthews had 9 carries for 45 yards and looked great running behind first round draft pick DJ Fluker. Tight end Antonio Gates looks like the only receiver Rivers trusts as he caught 3 passes for 26 yards. The offensive line was bad on pass protection as they allowed 3 sacks.
The Chargers starting defense had three priorities in this game: 1) Put pressure on quarterback Jay Cutler, 2) Shut down wide receiver Brandon Marshall, and 3) Stop running back Matt Forte on big runs.
They put good pressure on Cutler and were able to sack him twice. Marshall was Cutler’s go to target and cornerbacks Derek Cox and Shareece Wright could not match him. Marshall caught one touchdown but linebacker Donald Butler was able to intercept an intended pass for Marshall. Matt Forte had a 58 yard run which led to a touchdown and the defense had trouble tackling him.
The final score for this game was Chicago Bears 33-San Diego Chargers 28. The Chargers deserved this loss because the offensive line was awful. Their run blocking looked great but the pass blocking was terrible. I think King Dunlap should start at left tackle over Max Starks and it will be interesting to where this competition goes especially when Starks made such a blunder tonight.
It worries me that Phillip Rivers only trusts Antonio Gates on passing plays. He tried to throw to Keenan Allen and Allen trips to lead to an interception. With Malcolm Floyd out for the rest of the preseason, Vincent Brown needs to step up as the number one receiver.
My worry on defense is with the tackling. In their first two preseason games, players are breaking too many tackles. I feel like players are not putting in effort to tackle and it’s pathetic.
The Chargers next game will be Saturday, August 24th at the Arizona Cardinals.