Week 11 Game Preview: San Diego Chargers @ Chicago Bears
The Bears have never lost a game to the Chargers at Soldier Field. The Chargers beat the Bears in their last meeting in 2007 at Qualcomm Field, 14-3.
Expect temperatures in the mid-40′s and winds at around 16 mph.
The Bears have won four straight games and have averaged 32 points during that stretch.
They took down the Lions last Sunday at Soldier Field 37-13 and forcing six turnovers in the victory.
The Bears are a perfect 3-0 this season when its defense scores a touchdown. They have reeled in four interceptions in of their last three games.
Unfortunately they will be without starting nickelback D.J. Moore, who suffered an ankle injury in practice, so Corey Graham will start in his place.
San Diego comes to town on a four game losing streak heading in the total opposite direction then the Bears right now.
The Chargers have Ryan Mathews back and healthy, but the Bears have been doing a solid job stopping the run as of late. They’ve allowed a pedestrian 70.5 yards per game on the ground.
Earl Bennett again had a big game receiving last week, making him the focal point of the offense seems to be paying off.
He will be keyed in on today by the Chargers defense, which features former Bears linemen Antonio Garay and Tommie Harris.
It will be interesting to see what kind of welcoming Harris will get today at Soldier Field.
Despite being 4-5 this season, the Chargers are ranked pretty high statistically in the NFL. They rank 7th on offense (396.7 ypg) and 9th on defense (331.3 ypg).
The Chargers tend to get hot in November. They have won eight of their last 10 November games.
But the Chargers have been pretty bad on the road this season, posting a 1-3 record.
Can Phillip Rivers play turnover-free football against the vicious Bears defense?
Can the Bears once again provide a solid pass rush?
Can receivers Johnny Knox or Roy Williams make a solid contribution in the passing game?
Is Corey Graham a good replacement for an injured D.J. Moore?
Players Who Must Step Up:
1) Corey Graham- This one is too obvious. He is replacing one of the fastest players on the Bears defense and perhaps one of the up and coming leaders. Graham hasn’t started a game since the 2008 season, but he has been taking reps at nickelback the past couple of seasons. He should be ready to go in this one, expect a solid game from the special teams stud.
Prediction: Six tackles
2) Israel Idonije- The defensive end has three sacks through nine games this season. He hasn’t had a sack since Week Six against the Vikings. He needs to step up, so he can take some pressure off Peppers and Co. It will be interesting to see if the Bears use newly signed veteran Chauncey Davis at all, Idonije doesn’t want to lose his job to a newcomer.
Prediction: Three tackles, one sack.
3) Kellen Davis- He has only reeled in nine passes this season, but he has been a threat at times. Look for Cutler to check down to his tight ends at times, Davis being one of them. He could be looked for in the redzone today.
Prediction: Four catches, 43 yards, one touchdown.
Bears 23, Chargers 17.
Jake Perper is the owner and head writer for Bearsbacker.com. He is also the Chicago Bears writer for NFLTouchdown.com. Follow him on Twitter, @Bearsbacker and on Facebook for up to the minute news about the Bears.