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Game Review: Chargers vs Bears

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    <img src="http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/sp/getty/a7/fullj.getty-75557833dm014_chicago_bears.jpg" title="SAN DIEGO - SEPTEMBER 9: Runningback LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the San Diego Chargers runs into the endzone for a touchdown against the Chicago Bears during the 4th quarter at Qualcomm Stadium September 9, 2007 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)" alt="SAN DIEGO - SEPTEMBER 9: Runningback LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the San Diego Chargers runs into the endzone for a touchdown against the Chicago Bears during the 4th quarter at Qualcomm Stadium September 9, 2007 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)" height="168" width="287" />

    By Curtis Egan
    <em>BoltTalk Staff Writer</em>

    <strong>The Hype:</strong>
    It could be that I am a Charger fan and I only notice what is said about the Bolts. However, the Chicago Bears visiting the San Diego Chargers had t have the biggest build up of any week one game. Why you might ask, well I am glad you asked, it is because the Mouth of Chicago, Middle Line Backer, Brian Urlacher is coming with the Bears. Brian, thinks of himself as the voice of reason and class in the NFL has expressed distaste for both Running Back LaDanian Tomlinson and Outside Line Backer Shawne Merriman of the San Diego Chargers.

    Urlacher, has been quoted expressing displeasure at Merriman's ‘Lights Out Dance', stating that he believes that Merriman should also celebrate when he makes a bad play. Is this true, does Urlacher actually think it is a valid argument to celebrate bad plays? Even so, Merriman would definitely not have very much opportunity to celebrate. Merriman does not often play out of position, and has a nose for the ball.

    <p id="post_message_288436">Urlacher also does not like the commercial in which Tomlinson envisions himself running through the Bears Defense. Urlacher even goes so far to point out the last time the Bears played the Chargers, they held Tomlinson to 61 yards on 16 carries is 2003. But Brian, boy-o that was a different team than the one you face now. Perhaps you have taken a few too many blows to the ole melon. The Bolts back then did not have a set QB, such as Philip Rivers. No, Doug Flutie and Drew Brees were swapping starts as then Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer could not decide who should be starting. Tight End Antonio Gates was in his first year on the Bolts, and has since blossomed into the best Tight End in the League. Also the Chargers defense has changes. I think it is short sighted at best, and myopic for the Mouth of Chicago to brush aside the Chargers offense.

    Lets see just how well the Bears defense stacks up against the 2007 Chargers offense. Lets also see if Bears Quarterback Rex Grossman can handle the Chargers Defense. It is game time in San Diego, 2007 kicking off with a great game!


    <strong>The Game:</strong>
    The biggest showdown of week one opens with the Chargers starting on offense. LT gets the hand off several times, then a bit of a high pass to LT ends the opening drive.
    The Bears opening drive has two runs and a huge sack by San Diego Outside Line Backer, Shaun Phillips who came off the edge and destroyed Bears Quarterback Rex Grossman- Phillips hit him so hard Brian Urlacher was seen on the sidelines taking notes-

    The next offensive series by the Bolts say the Chargers making use of the middle of the field, the weakness in the Bears defensive coverage. Chargers Wide Out, Vincent Jackson pushed the Bears defender out of the way to prevent an interception. A good penalty if you ask me. The Chargers went for an early conversion of the fourth down and Philip Rivers kept the ball to get the first. The Chargers could move no closer and had to settle for a field goal try as the Bears focus on LT. The Bears block the field goal attempt, the score remains 0, 0 with just under five minutes left in the first quarter.

    The Bears offense go three and out again, making it look like this is going to be a slugfest between two very good defensive units. Chargers defense were ready to play and between McCree and Phillips, they showed that they came ready to do some hitting. The Chargers offense has been using the middle of the field for the pass, but has yet to get the running game going.

    Mike Brown puts a good hit on Tomlinson on the first play of the Chargers third possession at the line of scrimmage. On the next play the Bears pick off Phillip Rivers in the middle of the field, bringing the Bears defense back on the field-

    The Bears came out on the next series after the interception and start to get some offensive production. Running Back Cedric Benson ground out some difficult yards against the stingy San Diego Defense.

    At the end of the fist quarter, the Bears had held the Chargers to 6 yards rushing, and the Chargers held the Bears to -2 yards receiving. Definitely the defensive struggle it was advertised to be- At the end of the drive the Bears kick a field goal to take the lead early. The Bears continue to put pressure on the line of scrimmage preventing the San Diego running game from getting going, leading to another Chargers punt, and Norv Turner continues to try and establish the run on first and second downs.

    The Bears ramped up their blitzes in the bottom of the first half to keep the Chargers off the scoreboard, hitting Chargers Quarterback Philip Rivers with pressure on third downs. The Chargers began using the pass more as the Bears were keying on Tomlinson to prevent the Chargers from getting the ground game going.

    Safety Marlon McCree brings down a 2nd quarter interception to end a Bears drive, giving the Chargers Offense the ball on the two yard line. The Offense still did not get on track, either with their run or the two passes. The first half ended with a score of 3 to nothing, Bears.

    The Chargers started the Second half with recovering a fumble by Bears Running Back Cedirc Benson, then the offense went down the field. The Chargers drive was kept alive when the Bears committed a roughing the passer penalty. The Chargers started using the pass to loosen the Bears defense up. However the Bears got a break as they went offsides, and took the ball away from the Chargers, yet no flag was thrown and the Bears were given a gift. The ruling is not challengeable and the Chargers were fired up and possibly not focused as Gorssman moves the ball out with a pass.

    Chargers Line Backer Matt Wilhelm made a good play when a Charger punt bounced off a Bears blocker and was recovered by Wilhelm giving the angry Chargers the ball in excellent field position. The Chargers made the Bears pay for keying on Tomlinson as Tomlinson took the ball and tossed a touchdown pass to Gates, putting the Chargers ahead 7 to 3 with 45 seconds left in the third quarter. The play took advantage of the Bears Defense's desire to lock Tomlinson down and opened up the lane for Gates to get open right in front of the end zone.

    On the next Bears Offensive possession, they again fumbled the ball giving the Chargers Offense another go at mid field. Gates with the first pass of the possession broke the 100 yard receiving mark, the 9th time he has done so in his young career. A screen pass to Tomlinson then moves the ball out to the 35 yard line. This series loosened up the Bears defense and Running Back Michael Turner then started to get yards on the ground. Tomlinson continues the assault on the clock with a seven yard gain, before he ran the ball into the end zone for the score. Chargers 14, Bears 3 with just over 9 minutes left in the fourth.

    The Chargers Defense then held the Bears Offense on fourth down to get the ball back for the Chargers, with good field position, at the San Diego 35 yard line. The Chargers took over and began to try and run the clock down, but the Bears were not ready to roll over and continued to key on Tomlinson. A steady dose of passes, and rushes began to grind the clock down and frustrate the Bears defense.

    The Bears defense began to show their frustration as they committed a 15 yard face mask penalty on Michael Turner after they stopped him in what would have brought up a punt just before the 2 minute warning. They continued to run with Turner to grind the clock out. Final score, Chargers 14, Bears 3. The Bears defense is for real and shut down Tomlinson like they said they would. However, the Chargers had more weapons than just Tomlinson it was definitely the defensive struggle that was advertised.
    </p><p id="post_message_288436">&nbsp;</p>

    <p id="post_message_288436"><strong>The Good!</strong>
    <em><strong>Weddle: </strong></em>Three solo tackles, a sack and a game where he was around the ball and making plays. He had a great first game in the NFL.

    <em><strong>Phillips: </strong></em>He set the tone of the game when early on he came around the corner and demolished Rex Grossman. He was around the ball all day long collecting a solo tackle and a sack.

    <em><strong>Defense: </strong></em>taking the ball away from the Bears with regularity. They kept the Chargers in the game until the offense could get into the game. They took the ball away from the Bears 4 times with three fumble recoveries and an interception. The also sacked Grossman 3 times.

    <em><strong>McCree:</strong></em> Marlon came to play, he had some good hits and intercepted Rex Grossman on a drive where it looked like the Bears were driving for a touchdown.

    <em><strong>Offensive Line: </strong></em>They were stacked up against all game long and gave Rivers more time than anyone expected.

    <em><strong>Offensive play calling in the second half:</strong></em> Head Coach Norv Turner started using the pass to loosen up the Bears Defense, and in the second half the Chargers scored 14 unanswered points.

    <em><strong>Gates: </strong></em>He was the primary receiver on the day. He had a rough first half but picked it up in the second half and collected his 9th career 100 yard receiving game. He finished the game with 9 receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown.

    <em><strong>Scifres:</strong></em> Scifres punted six times on the day, averaging 40.7 yards a punt. He also boomed one ball for 54 yards and helped out the Chargers to keep the Bears in check. His nose down punting style learned from past Charger Darren Bennett, cause the ball to bounce into the Bears blocker on one punt, giving the Chargers the ball back in excellent field position.

    <em><strong>Rivers:</strong></em> Rivers finishes the evening with 22 or 31 passes, for 190 yards and an interception. However what impressed me what his ability to remain calm with the constant pressure by the Bears, to put a terrible first half behind him and find a way to lead his team to victory.

    <em><strong>Tomlinson:</strong></em> Though he did not get 200 yard rushing, he did score a rushing touchdown, throw for a touchdown, and cats 7 passes for 51 yards. He showed why he is the best player in the NFL, he was also keyed on all day long by the Bears Defense, showing the respect they had for his ability.

    <em><strong>Turner:</strong></em> Michael Turner pounded out 41 yards on 10 rushes, giving the Chargers the ability to grind the clock and loosen up the Bears defense. The Best backup running back in the league did his job today and did it well.

    <strong>The Bad!</strong>
    <em><strong>Running Game: </strong></em>when there are nine defenders in the box, it is not a good idea to continue running inside the tackles into a mass of humanity. Yet, the Chargers continued throughout the first half to attempt this. Tomlinson ended the first half with 12 yards rushing. The play calling did very little to loosen up the defense of the Bears. Two rushes to end the half gave LT the positive yards, without the threat of the pass the Bears were able to stack the line of scrimmage and stop the run.

    <em><strong>Offensive play calling in the first half: </strong></em>I hate run, run, pass- Predictability on offense in the NFL is not a good thing. The first half the Bears stacked the line of scrimmage and we continued to run LT into the wall of humanity. The receivers in the first half did not help as the dropsy's were present and derailing drives.


    <em><strong>Sproles:</strong></em> Darren Sproles was injured on the opening kick off return. No mention as to the extent of the injury yet. We will update when we get word.

    <strong>In Closing:</strong>
    It was a tough fought game against a good team. However, in the future the Chargers are going to have to find a way to get the Wide Receivers involved in the games. The Chargers will find more opponents who will focus on LT, and Gates. The Receivers will have to become a threat to keep the Chargers Offense moving the chains.

    But a win against a team as good as the Bears should never be taken lightly. Next up, the Patriots.

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