Well BFTB family, it’s been a pretty rough couple of weeks. With each and every game that passes where the Chargers learn a new way to devastate our hearts, articles like these become a little more irrelevant.
Every week I want to bring three key themes that could really help the Chargers stay out of the loss column and get things back on track, but every little detail that comes to mind at this point ends up being squashed by the inevitable feeling that nothing matters.
It hasn’t mattered how bad opposing quarterbacks were playing prior to taking on the Chargers.
It hasn’t mattered how many rushing or passing yards have been allowed by the opposing defense.
It hasn’t mattered how many turnovers the opposing team has been giving up each and every week.
The Chargers always find a way to help other teams reverse their current trajectory from negative to positives. So in this case, I can’t help but predict that Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky will leave Sunday’s contest with a career-high in passing yards while setting a career-high in completion percentage, as well.
I hate to quote the classic Tom Hanks movie “Forrest Gump”, but the Chargers are truly playing like that famous “box of chocolates” Gump was always talking about: we truly never know what we are going to get when the Bolts take the field.
With that being said, here are the three things I’ll be watching the closest when the Chicago Bears host the Los Angeles Chargers.
1.) Which Bears defense is going to show up?
The Chicago defense has been a bit all over the place through the first seven weeks of the season. They looked impossible to run on in the first 4 games but have come back down to Earth ever since they crossed the pond and lost to the Oakland Raiders.
Josh Jacobs, the Raiders’ rookie tailback, toted the rock 26 times and amassed 123 yards and a pair of rushing scores. Back-up running back De’Andre Washington also score a rushing TD, giving the Raiders three on the day.
Heck, even this past Sunday, the Bears allowed Latavius Murray to run for over 119 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was also able to toss for 281 yards and two scores through the air, as well.
So there is a teeny-tiny chance that the Chargers may be able bounce back from their offensive woes if they call the right game.
2.) Will the Chargers continue to allow sub-average quarterbacks to thrive against their defense?
Last Sunday against the Ryan Tannehill-led Titans, the Chargers defense allowed a quarterback who previously lost his job in Miami to go 23-for-29 for 329 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns. He did throw an interception, but it was a tipped pass right into the hands of UDFA safety Roderic Teamer.
The week prior on Sunday Night Football, the Chargers allowed UDFA rookie quarterback Devlin Hodges out of FCS Samford University to complete 15-of-20 passes and throw a touchdown. His lone interception was also off a tipped pass.
In week 4, the Chargers allowed Josh Rosen to throw his first touchdown of the year, and only the second total touchdown for the entire Dolphins team in 2019 up to that point.
This season, Trubisky only has two games with a completion percentage above 63% and two below 60%. My biggest fear is forcing Trubisky to win this game with his arm and him having little to no opposition in doing so.
This defense has got to stop taking “bend-but-don’t-break” so close to heart.
3.) Can the ground game get any worse?
Ever since week 1 against the Indianapolis Colts, the Chargers have seen their yards per carry average essentially dwindle down each and every game. They averaged a season-best 6.0 YPC against Indy and followed that up with a 5.5 average against the Lions.
In week 3, they averaged 4.1 per tote.
Week 4? 2.4. Then 2.2, then 2.3, and then a horrendous 1.9 against the Titans.
It seemingly couldn’t get any worse for this running game. And after reading all of this, it blows my mind how Justin Jackson was able to average 7.9 yards per carry behind the same unit, sans Mike Pouncey.
If anything, it tells me who the best pure runner is on this team. I can’t wait to see what Jackson can do for this team once he’s back in the fold.
It’ll also be interesting to see if the team can find any success running the ball behind left tackle Russell Okung now that it looks like he’ll be suiting up this Sunday.