Chicago Bears Week 9 Opponent: San Diego Chargers


The Chicago Bears take to the road to face the Chargers in San Diego. The Bears are looking to end their two-game losing streak, and to try to get the season back on track. 

This week, the Chicago Bears play on the road in San Diego to face the Chargers in a Monday Night Football matchup.

The Bears are trying to get their season back on track, after having lost their last two games in heartbreak fashion. They lost those games on the final possession, losing to the Detroit Lions in overtime and losing to the Minnesota Vikings on a field goal made as time expired.

The Bears are now 2-5 overall, and they have lost all three games in their division.

The Chargers are not setting the world on fire, either. They own a 2-6 record. They have lost four in a row, and six of their last seven after beating the Lions in Week 1.

The last time these two teams met in San Diego was in 2007. The Chargers beat the Rex Grossman-led Bears 14-3. The Bears, however, have won five of the last six games in the series. They also lead the series 6-5.

It will be interesting to see how Jay Cutler and Philip Rivers interact with each other, as neither one is a fan of the other. They have had yelling matches on the field during games when Cutler was a member of the Denver Broncos.

Monday night will be running back Jeremy Langford‘s debut as a starter. Matt Forte has a knee injury and was ruled out this week.

Many view Langford as the future of the Bears’ running attack. Forte is in the final year of his contract and the Bears may not sign him to a long-term contract.

After moving away from the running game with former head coach Marc Trestman the last two years, the Bears with John Fox are going back to it. They are more balanced this season, having thrown 247 passes and rushing 199 times.

The better balance has put pressure off Cutler. He led the NFL in interceptions last season with 18, but he is on pace to lowering that number to 10 this season.

Langford must do much of the same things Forte did, run effectively and catch passes effectively. We cannot expect him to do it as well as Forte yet, but if he cannot somehow take some pressure off Cutler like Forte did, it will be a long game.

It is not the way Langford envisioned getting his first NFL start, but he plans on making the best of it. “You got to make the best of the opportunity,” he said, “and not let it slip through your hands.”

Perhaps the Chargers’ defense is the perfect opponent for Langford’s debut. San Diego rank 27th in rushing defense, allowing 124.6 yards per game on the ground. He could have a good game.

The Bears’ secondary, which has had its ups and downs this season, will be tested by Rivers and the Chargers offense. There is no confusion as to what they do — they pass, they pass, and, when possible, they pass.

The Chargers lead the NFL in total offense (423.2 yards per game), and most of that comes from passing. They lead the league in passing yards (336.9), but rank just 30th in rushing (86.4 yards per game).

After having to face Adrian Peterson last week, the patched up defensive line will not have to worry much about the Chargers’ running game. They will need to pressure Rivers, though. He has been on fire. He has thrown for 300+ yards in six of his eight games this season. He even has a 400 and 500-yard game this season. He has 18 touchdown throws and 7 interceptions. He owns a 102.1 passer rating.

With the lack of a running game, the Bears can concentrate on stopping Rivers. They rank 27th in sacks with just 12. Pernell McPhee has had a good season so far, recording five sacks, but he will need help in trying to contain Rivers.

The defense overall ranks fourth in yards (213.4 per game), but it has given up 28.9 points per game, ranking 29th. If this becomes a shootout, the Bears may be in troubles.

Rivers’ great passing has not translated into victories, though. While he is getting a lot of yards, the Chargers rank just 14th in points per game (23.9).

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While both teams have losing records, they have been competitive. They have been in a lot of games, but have not been able to make the key play to get the victory.

To go along with Forte, Cutler and the Bears will also be without wide receiver Eddie Royal. Marc Mariani and Cameron Meredith will share snaps in his absence.

Rivers will also be without some weapons. Wideout Keenan Allen was lost for the season last week with a lacerated kidney, and tackle King Dunlap was ruled out, while guard Orlando Franklin is doubtful.

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While this game may not be a Rembrandt defensively, it still should be entertaining. I expect a high-scoring game with big plays. This is a winnable game for the Bears. If they can put together a full game, they will be given some gifts by the Chargers.

Let’s hope it’s enough for the Bears to come away with a victory.