The Bears will be looking to get their season back on track this week as Phillip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers will visit Chicago for the first time since 2011. This will be the first time the two teams matchup since the Chargers moved back to Los Angeles in 2017. Coming off a brutal loss to one of the NFL’s best in the New Orleans Saints, the Chargers pose another opportunity for the Bears to find an escape from the current funk they find themselves in. The team also held a players-only meeting hoping to find some solutions to their ongoing problems. 

After another poor performance from the offense last Sunday in which the offense only attempted 7 run plays, Head Coach Matt Nagy knows that this number simply has to improve. In his press conference Monday, Nagy said, “I know we need to run the ball more. I’m not an idiot.”

While Nagy has told the media and the fans time and time again that he plans on getting the running game on the right track, his words have proven to be fruitless thus far as the Bears are currently ranked 28th in total rushing yards per game (70.0) this season, per NFL.com. During the offseason the Bears signed Mike Davis, who played a total of 2 snaps on Sunday, and traded up to draft David Montgomery who received just 2 carries. The Chargers currently hold the 21st ranked run defense in the league, allowing 117.1 rushing yards per game. Not to mention they are already significantly disadvantaged due to their extensive injury report.

(Via Twitter @Chargers)

Outside of the running game Mitchell Trubisky simply HAS to be better if the Bears want to turn this season around. The Chargers boast a tough secondary that currently is ranked 5th in total passing yards per game (216.1). This is even more impressive considering that the Chargers are missing their 2nd year superstar safety Derwin James and backup safeties in Adrian Phillips and Nasir Adderly. For now, the young quarterback needs to find some poise and a sense of rhythm in order to be successful this weekend. In the game versus the Saints, Trubisky was often frantic in the pocket and failed to look at any of his receivers besides Allen Robinson. 

On the defensive side of the ball, the Bears will look to slow down Phillip Rivers and the 3rd ranked passing offense of the Chargers. However, Rivers may be without his number one option as Keenan Allen is now listed as questionable after suffering a hamstring injury during practice late in the week. If Allen is unable to go, Rivers will most likely be looking to get tight end Hunter Henry and break out running back Austin Ekeler involved as much as possible. The Bears will be looking for Roquan Smith to bounce back as he most likely will find himself trying to slow down these two.

A couple weeks ago, the Chargers were ecstatic to finally get Melvin Gordon back after he held out through training camp and the first 6 weeks of the season. While Gordon has been one of the best running backs in the league the past couple seasons, he has yet to truly hit the ground running thus far in 2019. In his first two weeks, Gordon has rushed for just 81 yards on 36 attempts, good enough for just 2.3 yards per carry. With the Bears sorely missing Akiem Hicks as a run stopper up front, the team has given up back-to-back rushers in their last two games. While the Chargers are looking at this a potential game to iron out the kinks in their running game, the Bears will need to figure out what they need to do in order to get back to the ferocity they displayed up front in 2018 and early 2019. 

Prediction: While I admit my staunch pessimism with the team earlier in the week, I truly believe that this game is a get-right spot for the team and more importantly the Bears offense. While I don’t expect the offense to explode for 30 plus points, I do think we could see the unit put together a few methodical, well balanced drives that lead to touchdowns. Right now, it would be incredibly difficult for Trubisky to play a worse game than last week so pretty much anything is an improvement. Defensively, the Bears HAVE to play better up front. They have given up back to back 100 yard rushers in the past couple weeks and now this week you play a Chargers team that has Pro Bowl running back Melvin Gordon back and is still struggling to run the football. I don’t think the team is going to be perfect but I expect them to come out on top in this one. I say the running game finally gets it going this week and the Bears get their first Eddie Jackson pick six of the year. Final Score: Bears 28, Chargers 17. 

The Bears (3-3) will take on the Chargers (2-5) at 12:00 PM CST Sunday October 27th at Soldier Field. Per Pro Football Reference, the Bears are currently leading the all-time series, 7-5.