Through badly timed turnovers, poor timeout management, and a variety of other absurdities, the Chargers lost their fifth in a row.
The game got off to a promising start. The Chargers held the Bears to a three and out, and started driving down the field after receiving the punt. Ryan Mathews rushed for 28 yards on the drive, but also fumbled. The Bolts got a lucky break when Brandyn Dombrowski recovered the fumble. The drive stalled and the Chargers settled for a field goal.
The Bears came back and added a field goal of their own.
The game then became a punt fest with the Chargers punting three times and the Bears punting twice. With 6:35 remaining in the half, the offenses came to life.
The Bears started with a 5 play drive capped by a Marion Barber touchdown run.
The Chargers answered back with a 7 play drive that went for 79 yards and ended with Rivers passing to Antonio Gates for the score.
With only 2:04 in the half, the teams would probably go into the locker rooms tied at 10. Except they didn’t. The Bears took four plays to get to the end zone, but had their score called back on a penalty. Lucky break for the Bolts. Except it wasn’t. Three more plays and the Bears found the end zone with a Kellen Davis reception. This time it stood.
The second half started out with a nice drive by the Bolts. Rivers found Vincent Jackson twice, once for 47 yards and once for a 5 yard touchdown.
Now it was on the defense to make a stand. Instead, the Bears drove down the field and scored when Cutler leaped over the pile into the end zone.
Now, the Chargers needed to answer to stay in the game. Instead, Mathews fumbled on the first play of the drive and the Bears recovered.
Chicago took two plays to punish the Chargers with a touchdown.
The fourth quarter featured one field goal and two interceptions for the Bolts, and the afternoon ended disappointingly but not surprisingly.
Marty Schottenheimer was coaching the Washington Redskins last time things were this hopeless for the Chargers. It’s not that they simply aren’t playing well; it’s that there seems to be no prospect of them playing better.
Next week brings the Denver Broncos to Qualcomm, and I anticipate a swarm of orange and blue in the seats and on the field.