By Jeremy Gonzalez, Sports Editor
The Bulletin apologizes for the tardiness of this preview. We were unable to put it up before the scheduled kickoff. Regardless, here is our preview of the game.
Chargers record: 2-5. The Chargers suffered a heartbreaking loss against the Tennessee Titans in last week’s matchup. Melvin Gordon fumbled the ball near the end zone on what would’ve been the game-winning touchdown run and Tennessee recovered to win 23-20.
Bears record: 3-3. The Bears played a Saints team without their two biggest playmakers on offense, missing Drew Brees & Alvin Kamara, and still looked inferior as they lost 36-25 in New Orleans.
The Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Chargers are both in tough spots considering their records and divisions. Chicago has lost their last two games to drop to .500 and are losing ground in the NFC North where they trail Green Bay Packers by two and a half games and Minnesota Vikings by one and a half games.
The Chargers are third in the AFC West behind the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs and cannot afford to lose anymore ground. Both teams will be looking to come away with a victory to stay relevant in their divisions.
Both teams come into Soldier Field on Sunday trying to put a halt to their losing streaks that have them fading away after going 12-4 last season.
In the Pocket
The Bears need more from quarterback Mitchell Trubisky on offense as they rank near the bottom of the NFL. Trubisky threw for 251 yards and two touchdowns last week after missing one game with a left shoulder injury, but most of that came when the Saints had already put the game away. He is averaging 167.8 yards per game and ranks at the bottom of the league at 5.2 yards per attempt.
Phillip Rivers is doing what he can to keep the Chargers competitive in games, but some turnovers, like the Melvin Gordon fumble at the goal line last week, are out of his control. Rivers threw for 329 yards and two touchdowns last week, but the Chargers still came up short 23-20.
On paper, the Bears’ defense was supposed to be one of the best defensive units in the NFL this season, but the unit has broken down the last two games, getting pushed around by Oakland and New Orleans.
Rivers could have another breakout game, if his banged up offensive line can provide him with protection against Khalil Mack and the Bears pass rush.
Nowhere to Run
One thing the Bears and Chargers have in common is their struggling run game. Los Angeles ranks 27th in rushing and Chicago ranks 28th. The Chargers rushing attack was strong during the first four games of the season, averaging 103.5 yards per game, but that seems like a distant memory now. They have been held to 40 or fewer rushing yards for three straight weeks now. Gordon is averaging just 2.3 yards per carry since his return from a two-month holdout and still looks like he is in training camp mode.
The Bears allowed the Raiders to run for 169 yards and allowed the Saints to rush for 151 yards. This could be the game where the Chargers rushing attack bounces back from their slump, but their shaky offensive line may allow the Bears’ defense to dominate instead of being dominated.
Opening: CHI -5.5. 40.5 total.
The Lightning Rod pick: The Bears will bounce back and Trubisky will find his rhythm against the Chargers. The banged up offensive line from Los Angeles will not be able to keep Khalil Mack & company from Rivers and will allow five sacks to the Bears. The Chargers rushing attack will break the 100 yard mark but will not be enough as the Bears win at home.
Chargers 17, Bears 24.