The Bears started off hot, taking a 20-7 first half lead, but had to hang on for a 33-28 victory over the San Diego Chargers. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Even though there’s a new coaching staff and a new philosophy, old habits are hard to break.
In their win over the Chargers, the Bears relied on an old formula – defense and special teams – to lead the way. Don’t be fooled by the scoreboard. Sure, the Bears put up points, but they were powered by 3 fumble recoveries, an interception and a blocked punt. The Chargers outgained the Bears 383 to 185 with 24 first downs to the Bears’ 13. If you consider that Forte had a 58 yard run, that’s not a whole heck of a lot of offense.
The Bears didn’t see much of a dropoff on special teams. Devin Hester opened the action with a 45 yard return and Michael Ford added a monster 100 yard return that he somehow didn’t get into the end zone. JT Thomas staked a claim for a roster spot with a blocked punt and recovery. Coverage units were really strong all night, recovering a muffed punt for good measure.
- Third string quarterback Matt Blanchard broke a knuckle on his left hand. That’s discouraging for the developmental QB. It also means the Bears will be on the market for a third quarterback and not a lot of time to coach him up. It could make the decision to keep 2 quarterbacks on the final 53-man roster a little easier.
- DT Corvey Irvin injured his ankle and didn’t return. He left Soldier Field in a walking boot. With the DT position already painfully thin, that’s a blow.
- Robbie Gould was mostly sharp, connecting on four field goals including a 48 yarder in the closing minutes to put the Bears up 5 points.
- Speaking of injuries, Bears who didn’t suit up included Julius Peppers, Earl Bennett, Henry Melton, Armando Allen, Patrick Mannelly, Jonathan Scott, DJ Williams, Harvey Unga and Kyle Adams. It bears watching what happens with the concussed Bennett and Melton. You know Peppers will be back to his beastly ways. Jonathan Scott’s health will have a big impact on how the back end of the Bears’ offensive line shapes up.
- Jay Cutler’s interception into double coverage? Still shaking my head on that one. It’s inexcusable. In the postgame, he didn’t shy away or make excuses: “I didn’t miss-read. I knew what I was doing.”
- Coach Trestman took part of the blame for the pick, saying he could “can do a better job coaching it.”
- Trestman stopped short on heaping praise on the rookie offensive linemen. He said from his vantage point he couldn’t see much, but was pleased with the performance.
If this is the new era of Chicago Bears football, it didn’t look like it just yet. Let’s hope that the defense and special teams can maintain their high level of play while the offense tries to find their way.