So the Bears might have some kind of thing figured out with these receivers, or maybe that was a function of Cutler having time and mobility, or a function of a fairly unimpressive secondary. Either way, apart from Johnny Knox slipping while leaning through one of his cuts, the receivers had a pretty strong game. Roy Williams had a season-high five catches, including three consecutive on one drive, and all five catches went for first downs.
That being said, I'm starting to worry that Earl Bennett is going to become Cutler's safety blanket like Greg Olsen was - a lot of balls thrown his way, yet he can only come up with a few of them. ESPN has Bennett targeted nine times and converting only three of them. He had the one touchdown catch taken away from him and another catch later, but he also had a ball winged far over his head that two years ago to Olsen would probably have been picked off. Also... Bennett, on third down, why are you so close to the sideline so far from the first down marker?
The running game really struggled early on, and while Forte and Barber started getting a few better carries in the fourth quarter, the Chargers really came to stop the run. Seemed like lots of times the linebackers and safeties were brought in to stop the run while the receivers got to work in one-on-one situations, which even this collection of receivers can work with.
So what was that about not kicking to Devin Hester? Devin's two returns were on punts right down the middle of the field, one of which he was backed up to his own end zone yet had enough space to work with, and the other was called back on a penalty yet he returned it from about the 40 to the San Diego 10.
In the red zone, the Bears were 3-3 in converting points. The Chargers were 2-4.
Tyler Clutts is a solid football player. Not awful at long-snapping, solid lead-blocker, and a decent receiver out of the backfield. Unfortunately, not good at mixing it up with the Chargers players.
Speaking of Clutts, Pat Mannelly left the game. Yet we won the game. Feel free to express appropriate shock and awe.
So after last week, we were all set to send Peanut Tillman to the Pro Bowl. This week... Vincent Jackson ate him alive. 7 receptions, 23.6 yards per on nine targets? And I know the Cover 2 means play off to make the tackle... But why do you let him inside you in the end zone, especially when he's bigger than you? You KNOW the slant's coming when he tries that.
He exercised his desire to punch balls again, though, even while engaged with a blocker, reaching out and forcing the fumble.
Cutler can run an awesome quarterback keeper.
The fake punt was a surprise, but it made sense - if you make the first down, you keep control, and it wasn't some outrageous field position or distance, it was just a little rushed and overthrown
The Chargers have now had at least two turnovers in nine of their ten games this season.
Corey Graham did his best DJ Moore impersonation, with a perfectly timed interception to seal the game.
Frank Omiyale was in for one play at guard. The world rioted. Nothing went wrong at guard, Spencer came back in, and all was right with the world.
Speaking of guards, Edwin Williams and Spencer had pretty solid games. Cutler was dodging a lot of pressure, but a lot of it was blitzes and off the tackles.
I was generally impressed with Wright and Conte, although the Chargers got too many deep pass plays on the Bears' defense. That being said, Wright's interception was a throw that probably shouldn't have been made as he closed on it pretty easily.
Tim Jennings had another solid game, as he's really growing into that second cornerback spot.
I was surprised Gates didn't get more use than he did, as the Bears were allowing the middle of the field most of the game. Most of the throws were deep/sideline type stuff.
Third downs - the Chargers were 5-11 and the Bears were 8-14. No wonder the punters didn't get a lot of use!
The Bears' 286 passing yards are the third most San Diego has allowed this year. It seemed like a lot more, given the Bears' offense was on the field for 16 more plays.
That being said, the Chargers had one first down through running the ball. The Bears had 7.
I thought the defensive line generally had a good game. Peppers was chasing Rivers all over the place, Melton had some nice penetration on stuffing the run, and the pressure generated by Idonije and Paea forced some questionable, rushed throws by Rivers. Shame nobody could actually finish and put Rivers down.
Regarding a timeout-then-challenge sequence... Lovie Turner. That is all.
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