Aug 15, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears defensive end Corey Wootton (98) sacks San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers 28 - Bears 33: Initial Thoughts And Open Thread


At least this is the preseason! That was not pretty by any stretch of the imagination.

The defense started out the game nice and sacked Jay Cutler a couple of times on the first drive. Corey Liuget did have to leave the game with a shoulder injury though and did not return. Donald Butle had an interception on a drive also, but there was too much ugly and too many reminders of the last couple of seasons in this game.

The offensive line looked overmatched. Max Starks basically lost his chances as the starting left tackle job on one play. He was beaten bad by Shea McClellin (I think) and gave up a sack fumble on the play. He barely touched the defensive end and have Philip Rivers no time to throw the ball.

D.J. Fluker was beat for a sack. He did look good in the run game though. Jeromey Clary reminded us he was Jeromey Clary.

Philip didn’t look comfortable in the pocket. He threw an interception on a play where the referees were staring off in space and missed a pass interference call on Keenan Allen. It was ridiculous. Philip didn’t complete one pass to any d his receivers. You think he misses Malcom Floyd and Danario Alexander?

The special teams was ridiculously bad. I miss Rich Bisaccia. As much as I try to like Richard Goodman, he keeps failing and failing in this competition for a job. I would keep Mike Willie over him in a heartbeat. His roster spot needs to go to somebody else. The coverage on special teams was terrible. We gave up too many long returns and we were close to giving up a touchdown in the return game… twice. We even have up a blocked punt!

The backup quarterbacks did look goo. Brad Sorensen continued to impress and Charlie Whitehurst made plays.

Mike Willie stepped up and had a nice game, even though he took a big time hit. He had a pair of touchdowns and could be moving up the depth chart and can take a roster spot.

Ryan Mathews has been quietly productive this preseason. No injuries and no turnovers. That is a nice look.

Michael Hill really needs to work on catching the football. He dropped a couple of passes.

Edwin Baker and Fozzy Whittaker are battling for roster spots and both guys played well.

The turnovers and the lack of protection up front were killer though. Can’t play like that in the regular season. Like I said earlier, lucky this is still a preseason game. There is still a lot of work to do.

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  • rokrbass

    int was not philips rivers fault keenan allen didnt run the rout right and could say ther was pi.. jermomy clary did good rivers just held the ball to long, and max starks just sucked.

    • Gunnar Martin

      Allen tripped/maybe got interfered by the defender. It was tight double coverage anyways. Terrible decision by Rivers.

    • Daryl Peek

      There’s always an excuse for Rivers?

  • Bill Nichols

    Love my Chargers, but, damn……. So many screw ups tonight, from Weddle, to Gates, and Rivers, and oh my god, flash back from last years crappy line. Starks, Clary, and yes D.J. (but he is a rookie, and he did make up for it). I can not belive I am saying this but, RM24 was the best 1st team offense player on the field tonight. He ran his ass off. We got beat, we got beat bad. Special teams, secondary, coaching, cheerleaders, the whole nine. But, thank god this is only week 2 of the preseason. We will learn from tonight, and get better, I am sure of it. But, the first defensive series, we looked awesome, knocked them back 15 yards or so, and made them punt right away. So, hey. Bolt Up!!

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      What really made me mad, is when it was 3rd and two, Fozzy was running well… And they call an over the top pass play to Meachem, who was blanketed. It wasn’t even like it was a mismatch. They should have pounded the rock for a first. It was already working. Head scratcher.

      • Bill Nichols

        Loved the run game. Both RM and Fozzy showed they can pound it. Hill too (I think that is who else ran it well), shoes me that we can run block, and we need to stick with it, keep shoving it down their freaking throats……Meachem didn’t even make an attempt to come back to the ball, like always, he needs to grow a pair, actually he needs to get hit by a bus and get us out of this stupid contract…….

        • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

          Baker ran well too. Meachem did have that long reception from Sorensen that pitput us in scoring range. But it was against backup coverage.

      • I_Bleed_Powder_Blue_801

        SD should run until the opponents stop them. Go for their jugular…..I bet Fluker would love it…That’d take it out of the other team…once they are broken down and demoralized, that’s the time to get pass happy

        • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

          I agree. Norv used to do that with Mathews all of the time. It would drive me crazy! Mathews would be doing great, and Norv would all of a sudden switch to three passing plays & a punt, after Mathews just had the defense on their heels. It was like giving the defense a gift, and letting them catch their breath! I hope that Whisenhunt has more sense than that.

          • I_Bleed_Powder_Blue_801

            (SARCASM)…..Ohc’mon, that was NorF genius @it’s finest…along w/the run it right up the gut on 1st down……

  • RZ

    I Love Gates..but damn he is afraid to get more yardage when he could have…he better not do that in the regular season.Play Hard dammit…and special teams (again) not very special..they better fix that shit! Go Boltz!! Lots of work to do boys….peace

    • rokrbass

      all starters on special teams arent playing mcoy saving them for regular season that why special teams sucks right now.

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

        I’m not buying that. I know not all the starters were playing, but they should have played far better than that.

        • boltingindiego

          missed tackles on the ford return can be fixed. On the punt block adde cant whiff like that horrible effort.

      • RZ

        They should play them…if that is the case, hell it’s all about field position and special teams have a lot to do with it..just ask the bears.

    • boltingindiego

      in preseason i don’t want him to get hurt fighting for extra yards. If its reg season different story since it actually matters.

      • RZ

        c’mon now…It’s the NFL you fight for those yards,did you see John Phillips fight for those extra yards? Antonio should watch and learn.

        • boltingindiego

          like i said if he did that in the reg i would get mad but in the preseason i don’t care. what if he got hurt then what great effort but now your out for x many weeks.

        • JoseSD

          Two separate situations Philips caught a 2 yard pass was hit immediately but didn’t go down and gained an extra 6 yards with Gates he was wide open it was a big gain for a first.down and some extra yardage in the preseason stepping out of bounds with a first down is the smart play rather than risk injuryfor 3 yards

          • RZ

            I just want to see better effort out there from him,he should set the example for the young cats he’s only out there for a quarter and a 1/2…feeling a little intimidated is probably more like it. Play hard..if you’re afraid to get tackled..it’s time to retire. If he does that next game we’ll have to call him OL’ SOFTY…lol!

          • JoseSD

            Set an example? He’s set an example for 10 years of playing at an All-pro level. You’re making a big deal out of 3 yards. Gates isn’t scared of nobody he puts fear in LBs and safeties that have to cover him, with #1 and #2 WR out he doing what a vet does in preseaon play smart and stay healthy. Find something real to complain about like Max Starks not even touching McClellan and allowing a strip.sack or the special teams

          • RZ

            Play football dude,that’s what i’m complaining about.We all know it’s a game of inches right? Play the game or don’t play at all,it’s how you’re taught. No BS excuses..smh.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      he seriously left like 3 yards on that play

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

        I agree. Not gonna make am excuse for him there. He ran out of bounds really early.

      • joerockt

        That was bizzare. If it wasnt for preseason, I dont think that is something he would normally do. I rather the old vet not take a hit if he can avoid it in preseason.

        I was more disgusted with his dropped pass.

  • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

    I would love to see a press conference with Kevin Spencer, explaining what the eff happened, and how he is gonna fix the special teams. Goodman is Goneman, but then Keenan showed us that he isn’t any better. I wish Clary would stop proving me right, and validating my concerns. He is the weakest link on that line. Fluker gave up a sack, but he played well enough to overshadow it. Mathews played great, and they should keep feeding him the rock. He is going to make or break this season. Butler is the man. Shareece got burnt, but what a chase down!!! All in all.. Out felt like 2012.. Especially on offense.

    • rokrbass

      actually jeromy clary didnt give up that sack, rivers held it to long.

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

        Looked like he didn’t have his man blocked to me. Even odd Philip did hang onto it to long, it was a poor job.

      • boltingindiego

        rivers tried to step up and couldn’t i put the blame on clary on that 1.

        • http://www.signonsandiego.com/ Ambitoos

          Blame them both because your both right. Rivers has to get rid of it quicker. He has no time to dance around. If the receiver isn’t open then dump it.

        • joerockt

          Nah, Rivers walked right into the guy. He had all sorts daylight to his left.

    • JoseSD

      Wright can fly!! One thing about Weddle even though he’s the best FS in the league I wish he’d tackle better downfiel so many times when a RB breaks a big run and Weddle is the last line of defense he tries to steer the runner out of bounds instead of laying the smackdown.usually it works but he whiffed on it. Shareece actually fell down on the play ad Forte ran past him I was surprised he caught him at least Weddle slowed down Forte enough

  • CALiFORNiAkiD

    Ladarius Green looked great.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      good call… Green was awesome

    • http://www.signonsandiego.com/ Ambitoos

      So did Whitehurst and Sorenson.

  • Bill Nichols

    Oh yeah, almost forgot…. special teams reminded me of 2011, and we need to kick Goodman in his sorry ass. If you muff a kick off, act like you give a fuck and cover it up quick. You are not Mr. Cool, and you can not act like it isn’t a big deal when there are defenders barreling their way towards you wanting to kill you. God that pissed me off.

    • http://www.signonsandiego.com/ Ambitoos

      I think Goodman may not survive the cut this year. He’s never shown me much. When you muff a return, you fall on the ball. Common sense. He’s been around too long not to know that.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ ChargerGirl Cindi

      I was pissed off the whole time. Let’s just keep reminding ourselves this is preseason… its preseason… its preseason…. dammit, still mad!

    • I_Bleed_Powder_Blue_801

      I heard the commentator say Coach McCoy held most of the starting special teams players out to avoid injury. Regardless, that unit has to make plays….it was sickening to see that they botched a lot of coverages……Goodman looked bad…..Addae was contributing….I cant wait until preseason is over…seems like all that ever happens are injuries in these audition games….

  • Bill Nichols

    Once again, love my bolts, but that shit hurt my gut. I am the best there is at making excuses for my team (and believing them too), but god dang it if that didn’t make me feel sick. I know we are better than that, just that I want to see more flashes of greatness during the 1′s time on the field. Come on McCoy, get the freaking hearts right, kick some peoples asses till they turn inside out.

  • Gunnar Martin

    Mathews was awesome, Luiget was awesome (mostlly b/c of the drop-off after he left), Fluker was awesome, Green was awesome, Sorensen was awesome, FOZZY was awesome. I guess Willie was pretty awesome too.

    Everyone else generally sucked.

  • tubbs45

    Our OLine is built to RUN the ball. I see play action passing in our future… I still hate Jay Cutler…

  • CALiFORNiAkiD

    Eric Weddle missed a clear tackle on Matt Forte.
    It could have been a 10 yard gain instead Forte ran for 60 yards.

    The best safety in the league has to make that play.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      he definitly blew it on that open field tackle.

  • ECAVILLE/Ace of Spades

    Chemistry between back up quarterbacks and back up receivers was better than PR and the first stringers on this game. Starks disappointed me big time but Charlie Whitehurst redeemed himself a little bit. Lights on Butler is super and I loved that Mike Willie caught two touchdowns after getting plowed. A lot to build on this game and a whole lot to learn from for sure. I still have faith that all these cliches will be addressed and fixed. Its the veterans mistakes that make me the most angry. There’s still time to tune this machine right. Work Harder Dang It! BOLT UP!!!

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      sadly…. the chemistry for the receivers and philip will have to grow, since he is playing with the 2s and 3s now. the injuries hurt us big time for the receivers

      • ECAVILLE/Ace of Spades

        Yeah your right. Was hopping PR would build good chemistry with Allen and yes Meach. I’m glad Chargers are working out Seyi Air-tutu. PR liked throwing the rock to him.

  • http://boltbeat.com/ ChargerGirl Cindi

    Clary is so bad. He he the weak link in the O-line.

    • joerockt

      Actually I think that one sack he allowed was really Rivers fault because he basically walked right into the guy. Had he gone left, Clary would have kicked the guy out and Rivers would have had a wide open passing lane.

      Its just another example of Rivers lack of mobility.

      • 1961 Fan

        Very astute observation; after how many years?

        • joerockt

          Yea I know 61, throw in Sorensen and all the issues go away.

          Rivers is on the hot seat for sure this year (at least with me). So I’ll be criticizing his every play as its deserved. He’s going to be sacked and he’s going to throw int’s, its how it happens that will be scrutinized.

        • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

          couldnt just stop right after the compliment… could you?

          • 1961 Fan

            It was not a compliment – wake up, we do not have a competitive team. I don’t have time for Spanos to solve the
            the problem, 30 seasons of blunders; perhaps McCoy and TT will get the Bolts ready in two to three years? You can’t expect to go into next years draft and pick the next Tom Brady.

          • arnie

            wake up, it’s pre-season, the only competition is for jobs. winning secondary. If PR can’t get it done, he can’t the’ll move on.

    • Mark G

      Yes, it’s preseason. Here is where we really see how McCoy and his staff perform. From Rivers to Clary – they all need to have their faces rubbed in the ugliness of last night. What will the coaches do to fix these problems before 09/09/13? Is there someone who can catch a kickoff or punt and keep his head – and the ball? Can Rivers scramble better? Can we PLEASE pickup the blitz and see some of those QUICK PASSES WE WERE PROMISED!??!?!??! Blood pressure….preseason, preseason…

  • Aaron Johnson

    FanFest showed me that our secondary would be a problem. We were over matched in the passing attack. That being said, Butler covered Marshall like a madman. I dont know how he was in place for that pick but i dont care either, it was pretty. Our starting O-Line had some problems, one of them Starks. That dude was way heavy on his feet and stood straight up too many times in pass protection. That sack fumble he gave up was the DE just running around him.

    Our TE depth excites me as our receivers go down. We may see gates/green all season in the 2 TE sets. Our receivers looked good but inexperienced. Im hoping that changes over the next 2 weeks. The good news, as mentioned in the article, is that this is pre-season. I have faith that we will be better by week 1. I do think its an uphill battle to the playoffs though.

  • CALiFORNiAkiD

    What I hate is that I had Vincent Brown open on the sack fumble that I had. I was too deep in my drop and I had him running for a touchdown. – Rivers
    :(

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      welp… can’t hit the receiver when the defensive end came in untouched.

  • joerockt

    I gotta watch this disaster again to absorb its suck factor. Seems like it was one player at a time that had a really bad play. While Fluker is a road grader, he’s going to have a hell of a time pass blocking JJ Watt. There going to need to keep a TE there helping to block on most pass plays.

    I watched a watched a highlight of Steelers vs Giants last year. Starks did ok aganst Osi and JPP, but you can see on a few plays his feet just can’t keep up with some of these speed rushers. Dunlap has quicker feet for sure and will probably get the nod going forward.

  • OP Bolt

    Ernie – good observations. I look forward to the reports from those who will take the time (and have access to) the real tape. I was only able to see part of the game, but from what I saw last night was pretty poor across the board. Hopefully, this was the Mulligan for the year – but I fear we are beginning to see that too much of this team is balsa wood, held together with duct tape and bubble gum. I know, I know, it’s only the second preseason game. The problem is they are showing far to many fundamental shortcomings. I think it is time for me take off the rose colored glasses – this is going to be a tough year for the Chargers.

    Turnovers – how many ways can you give up the ball in one game?

    Special F***ing Teams – OMG, deja vu` all over again. Intimately related to turnovers. The fastest way create a tipping point in a game, either creating or losing momentum – I thought we had already learned that ST cannot be an afterthought. You HAVE too put good, aggressive players on ST.

    Depth (the lack thereof) – One injury on DL (Liuget) and there goes the run defense – all I can say is that Adrian Foster and the Texans must be drooling this morning. Pass defense – work in progress.

    Looking across the first team offense (vs. Bears 1st team), the only real positive I see is the running game (go figure). The passing game still seems herky-jerky. One play flows smoothly, the next looks like a group of guys running individual drills. Extremely poor showing by WRs. Is that why Rivers seems to be stagnant? OL – still hasn’t gelled. Rivers’ internal clock still seems (to me) to be too slow across the board – getting to the spot, making progressions, decision making, the throw, pocket mechanics. Not sure what happened to the RBs in the passing game option, but it would have come in
    handy on a couple of those sacks.

    On and on and on.

  • C.Steele

    Ok. On the surface the game looked a Hot-Damn-Mess, but let’s not Wigg out just yet. They’re were mitigating circumstance and bright spots that give cause for hope.
    First & foremost, Our best left tackle didn’t start, and wasn’t in the game for the “look out” block that caused Philips sack fumble. Second, Our Rookie Right tackle gave up a sack (So, what it’s his 2nd Preason game, He will get better). Third, we gave up big yardage in the run game (Most on one play) but we lost arguable our best lineman early(Corey) to an injury.

    Further, the Bears run game isn’t exactly chopped liver (Ex.. Forte’s move on Weddle in the open field). Last and not least, TURNOVERS, NONE were by our first option at tail back :)), One was by a rookie receiver in the return game, one caused by the back up tackle, one missed interference call, can’t recall 4th, but it’s preason!!

    Now, high points. Going against one of the better defense in the league last year, Matthews didn’t get hurt and he looked amazing, 2nd week in a row. In the running game the O-Line was Hell to deal with. The bears D got after the offense, but like I stated earlier they are pretty damn good, so it was good work for the offense. Despite the pressure, it never felt like Philip got rattled as a matter fact when Starks ushered his man in to Philips backside Philips eyes were down field.
    Back up QBs & RBs looked really good (Practice squad did Baker some good).
    The second week in a row the D-line was able to put pressure on the QB. The touchdown drive by Cutler; lost in all the praise is Wright ran Forte down from about 10 yards back, and the touchdown pass he fought one of the best receivers in the game for position and the catch. It wasn’t a gimme (anyone remember Cason 5 yard cushion when the offensive was on the five). I was proud of the effort and fight wright put up!!

    It just seems last night was a preponderance of youth, injuries, and lack of depth. Those are all things we should be able to live with, since time and experience will cure them all. It’s the second pre-season game, the rookies will get better, starters will be returning, and we can’t fix depth in one draft. Hang tight and watch the improvement through the preseason, regular season, and following drafts. #GoBolts!

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      Whitehurst fumbling the ball away on the first snap was the fourth turnover. He looked good after that though, so he rebounded. Not sure if it was on him or the center, either.

  • Louie Reyes

    We can take a lot of good things out of this game to improve upon. Thank god it’s just preseason. For one the most glaring thing that stood out to me was the horrible special teams play in all phases. This will definitely kill us if it doesn’t get fixed.
    Secondly, pass protection needs to definitely improve. Our QB can’t be getting crushed in the pocket. Dunlap definitely outplayed Starks hands down. CBJ stepped up from last weeks horrible game and Sorenson looked solid again.
    Turnovers killed the starting group and will kill a teams rhythm moving the ball. Just when we were rolling we fumble the ball over to the Bears.
    Lastly, I would rather have Keenan Allen make these mistakes now and grow from them, rather than in the regular season.

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