The San Diego Chargers may have more than doubled the Chicago Bears in total yards, but that’s what happens when the opposing team doesn’t have very far to go. The Chargers looked like the Chargers of old as turnovers and poor special teams play were mostly to blame for Thursday’s 33-28 preseason loss on national television.
The Chargers first-team offense didn’t look good at all and allowed three sacks of Philip Rivers. Rivers turned the ball over twice on the evening, including a sack-fumble in which Max Starks was beaten on the play. The play certainly won’t help Starks in his fight for the starting left tackle position. Rookie first-rounder D.J. Fluker was also beaten for a sack.
While the offense wasn’t in sync, the special teams looked much worse. They opened the game allowing a 45-yard return by Devin Hester and later allowed a 100-yard kickoff return which set up first-and-goal at the 4. Shortened fields helped the Seattle Seahawks rout the Chargers last week and certainly helped the Bears on Thursday. Keenan Allen also muffed a punt, which was recovered by the Bears, and the Chargers also allowed a blocked punt early in the fourth quarter.
Aside from allowing a 58-yard run by Matt Forte and not being able to stop Brandon Marshall, the Chargers’ first-team defense had their moments. They started off strong, forcing a three-and-out, which included two sacks. Later, after a Rivers interception, Donald Butler bailed out the offense with an interception of his own on the following play.
Clearly, the defense will again be what keeps the Chargers in games, but the offense and special teams will need to play much better and not turn the football over. San Diego has two more preseason games to iron out the kinks, but a lot of work still needs to be done.