The Bears snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory last week on the lakefront as they blew a 10 point lead in the 4th quarter to Teddy Bridgewater and the Minnesota Vikings. The Bears are now at 2 – 5 and look to steal a win on the road as they travel to San Diego for a Monday Night showdown with the Chargers.
Don’t let the Chargers 2 – 5 record fool you in to thinking that they are on the same level as the Bears. San Diego has been riddled with injuries on the offensive side of the ball but still have the number 1 unit in the NFL as they are averaging 423 yards per game.
The most recent injury for the Chargers was to 3rd year wide out Keenan Allen, who was having a Pro Bowl type season before lacerating his liver in last week’s loss to the Ravens, 29 – 26. Allen had 67 receptions for 725 yards and 4 touchdowns thru 8 games of the season but will have to watch from the sidelines for the rest of the year.
Who is going to replace Allen?
The Chargers are going to need wide receivers Malcolm Floyd and Stevie Johnson to step up in production to fill the void left by Allen. Floyd came into the NFL in 2004 and has played his entire career with the Chargers and is coming off of his best game in years thanks to Allen’s injury. Floyd pulled down 4 of 6 targets for 92 yards while scoring 2 touchdowns. Johnson on the other hand is coming back from an injury of his own and played a smaller role in the Chargers loss to the Ravens. Expect Johnson to be more involved this Monday night as he and Allen play the wide receiver position in a similar fashion.
If the Chargers were in the playoff picture, Phillip Rivers would have a legitimate shot in the MVP race this year. Rivers is putting up crazy number thru the first half of the season, he has started off 243-348 for 2,753 yards and has thrown 18 touchdowns to 7 interceptions. Rivers has had to throw the ball so much due to the lack of a consistent running game by rookie Melvin Gordon and Danny Woodhead.
The Bears have been bitten by the injury bug themselves, as Matt Forte injured his knee last week and the timetable for his return is uncertain. That means the Bears will have to lean on their 4th round draft pick, Jeremy Langford, to carry the load while Forte recovers from his injury. Langford has played a total of 73 snaps and has 27 rushes for 80 yards and two touchdowns with 2 receptions for 31 yards. (1 costly drop against the Vikings) The Bears believe that Langford has the ability to be an every down back but they didn’t want to experiment with that hypothesis because of an injury to Forte.
Fans should expect a high scoring game as the Chargers defense is ranked in the bottom 3rd of the NFL in total defense and both teams are giving up over 28 PPG.
Bears Chargers Notes & Predictions
Key Matchup: Phillip Rivers vs. Bears Pass Defense
Key Injuries: RB Matt Forte (Doubtful)
Fact: The Bears are undefeated against the AFC West this season
Fantasy Spotlight: RB Jeremy Langford
Spread: Chargers -4
Prediction: Bears 26, Chargers 31