Final Score: Bears 22, Chargers 19
November 9, 2015
Wrapping up the Week 9 NFL Schedule on “Monday Night Football,” we had an AFC-NFC clash between the Bears and the Chargers. Chicago was coming off a tough divisional loss to the Vikings in their last appearance, while San Diego dropped a 3-point game to the Ravens in Week 8. Both teams needed a win here to get back on track.
Let’s check out a few of the key players and stats from the game so we can figure out why things played out the way they did. Afterward, we’ll look ahead to Week 10 to see what’s in store for both teams.
What Happened: This was mainly a tale of two halves, with the first belonging to the Chargers. San Diego got on the board in the first quarter with a 14-yard TD pass from Philip Rivers to Danny Woodhead. This came after an eight-play, 65-yard drive and was the only scoring of the period.
In the second, Jason Verrett snagged an errant Jay Cutler pass and returned it 68 yards for a defensive touchdown. The ensuing extra point was missed.
After a few missed opportunities, the Bears got on the board with a 1-yard TD pass from Cutler to Martellus Bennett. Josh Lambo added a field goal for the Chargers and we went into halftime with a 16-7 Chargers lead.
After the break, the Bears finally got into a rhythm. The third quarter was scoreless, but Chicago started things out right in the fourth with a 1-yard Jeremy Langford run to cap an impressive drive. Lambo would add another field goal for the Chargers, but Chicago stormed back to take the lead on a 25-yard Zach Miller TD pass from Cutler. After the ensuing 2-point conversion, the Bears were on top 22-19.
That score would hold, and Chicago puts up another very close game--this time on the right side of it. They move to 3-5 on the season.
The Chargers drop to 2-7 with the loss and are reeling in just about every facet.
The Stars: Cutler rebounded from some early mistakes to put up a nice game. He had 345 passing yards, and his two touchdowns put him ahead of Hall-of-Famer Sid Luckman for the all-time bears franchise record. His main target was Alshon Jeffery, who didn’t get into the end zone but snagged 10 passes for 151 yards. Jeremy Langford filled in very well for the injured Matt Forte, posting 18 rushes for 72 yards and a score along with three grabs for 70 yards.
Danny Woodhead led the offense on the other side with six rushes for 33 yards and six grabs for 78 and a TD.
The Goats: The San Diego defense was able to generate a couple of turnovers, but only had one sack and couldn’t hold on late in the game. They allowed the Bears 25 first downs, with 20 coming by the pass and just five rushing. Chicago had 446 net yards overall.
The Chargers also shot themselves in the proverbial foot with some inopportune penalties that brought their drives to a screeching halt. In all, they were flagged eight times compared to six for Chicago.
Injuries: The Chargers have a few new injuries to deal with here, on top of the loss. CB Jason Verrett came out shortly after his pick-six due to a groin injury. Fellow CB Patrick Robinson hurt his neck and had to come out as well.
Perhaps the most notable injury issue of all belonged to Malcom Floyd, who hurt his shoulder on a passing play and didn’t return.
Outlook: Looking ahead to Week 10, the Bears will be back in action on Sunday, November 15th in St. Louis against the Rams (1:00 PM ET on CBS).
The Chargers get a bye in Week 10 but will return on Sunday, November 22 for a home game against the Chiefs (4:05 PM ET on CBS).
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