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5 Questions with Bolts from the Blue: Chargers defense might be just what the Bear -vet ordered

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We talk failed expectations, physics paradoxes, Melvin Gordon, and Khalil Mack with Richard Wade

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

I will covering 5 Questions for Jeff Berckes over the next three weeks and I don’t take the privilege of filling his shoes lightly. This week, I talked with Bolts from the Blue editor Richard Wade about the Los Angeles Chargers and what we can expect in this weekend’s game.

Windy City Gridiron: Bears fans are not accustomed to entering a season with high expectations, and we’re not handling the Bears falling short well. It seems like Chargers fans may have gone through the emotional turmoil of falling short of high expectations in previous (and/or current) seasons. Do you have any advice for those of us lost in a cycle of doubt, hope, and apathy?

Bolts from The Blue: Oh, man. This question cuts deep. As a Chargers fan, most seasons begin with (unwarranted) optimism. They then quickly descend into the hellish quality that has long been our existence as fans of this franchise. This season, the Chargers were widely considered to be one of the safest bets to make the playoffs even with the Chiefs in their division. Instead, they now look more likely to end up with a top-5 pick than they are to still be playing in January. This is par for the course for us, though, and so the pain is rather numbed. I suppose I would suggest that you simply not ever get your hopes up ever again. That’s what I do.

Windy City Gridiron: The Chargers’ defense is struggling, and the Bears’ offense is struggling. What happens when a very stoppable force comes head-to-head with a freely movable object on Sunday?

Bolts from The Blue: What will happen is that the Bears offense is going to get right on Sunday. The Chargers’ defense is bad, injured, or some awful combination of the two at every position group. There is also the fun twist of defensive coordinator Gus Bradley being in love with the idea of playing bad players like Thomas Davis and Denzel Perryman over good players like Kyzir White that does little to help the situation. More than half of the defensive line is injured or Jerry Tillery (which is worse than being injured if you’re keeping score at home). Rookie Cortez Broughton looked like a potential bright spot, but apparently he now has mono, so go figure. If the Bears commit to running the ball against this group, they should put up over 150 yards on the ground against them. Maybe this is game David Montgomery breaks out.

Windy City Gridiron: How stoked are Chargers fans to have Melvin Gordon back to hand the ball on the goal line when the game is on the line?

Bolts from The Blue: I have never been accused of being a Melvin Gordon fan. He is the third-best running back on the roster behind Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson. The fact that he was who the coaching staff leaned on in such a high leverage situation does not speak well of them. Hopefully, they have learned from it and we never have to speak of it again.

Windy City Gridiron: Being in the AFC West, the Chargers used to face Khalil Mack twice a year. Are you looking forward to this weekend’s reunion? Will the return of Russell Okung lead to a noticeable improvement in your offensive line?

Bolts from The Blue: My favorite part of the Jon Gruden era in Oakland was when he traded away Khalil Mack, and that’s really saying something because the Jon Gruden era in Oakland has been really fun for people that hate the Raiders. I am not looking forward to seeing Mack on Sunday, I am sure Philip Rivers will enjoy it even less. Russell Okung represents an absolutely massive improvement to the offensive line. Both Trent Scott and Sam Tevi are horrible and it will be a blessing to only have to watch one of them try to get Rivers killed at a time.

Windy City Gridiron: The Chargers powder blue jerseys are thought by some to be the nicest-looking jerseys in the NFL. Staley Da Bear is known by all to be the best-looking mascot in the NFL. If you had the opportunity to trade the powder blue jerseys for Staley, would you take it? (Note to readers: obviously we would never agree to this trade. Don’t worry.)

Bolts from The Blue: The powder blue jerseys are the finest uniforms in all of sports and mascots are a plague, so I’m not sure we could make a deal.


So it appears the Bears won’t be the only miserable fan base at Soldier Field Sunday. The good news is, this might be the perfect recipe for the Bears to get their run game right and build some offensive rhythm and confidence. The bad news is that if they don’t, we’ll truly be out of excuses.