Chargers vs. Bears: Live Game Grades & Analysis for Chicago

Zach Kruse@@zachkruse2Senior Analyst IAugust 15, 2013

CHARLOTTE, NC - AUGUST 09:  James Brown #78, Jay Cutler #6 and Eben Britton #62 of the Chicago Bears watch from the sideline during a preseason loss to the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on August 9, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers won 24-17.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Bears and Chargers are squaring off in Week 2 of preseason. Make sure to keep it here for grades and analysis. 

San Diego - 28
Chicago - 33

Final analysis for the Chicago Bears:

Pass Offense: The Bears should be both encouraged and discouraged by the performance of Jay Cutler, who made some big throws (five-yard score to Brandon Marshall in a tight window) and one awful one (interception into double coverage) that stunk of the same, old Jay Cutler...He finished his three series with 38 yards passing...The protection was mostly fine after a rough start that included two sacks. The right side held their own...Backup Josh McCown got a much longer look than expected after third-string quarterback Matt Blanchard hurt his hand in the second half. The veteran was shaky early and finished with just 28 yards on five of eight passing...Marshall was again the focal point of the passing game, catching all four of Cutler's completions in the first half...No other receiver made a noticeable impact...Overall, the Bears had just 42 yards of passing offense. 

Run Offense: The first half was a dominant performance on the ground, with Forte's 58-yard run on an outside power sweep headlining the opening 30 minutes. The Bears finished the first half with 107 rushing yards and two scores...The offensive line continually got a push, and both Forte and Michael Bush looked dangerous in space...Both touchdown runs featured strong work upfront in close quarters...Chicago finished the night with 143 rushing yards on 37 attempts. Forte led the way with 74 yards, while Bush racked up 37. Young Michael Ford tallied 27 yards on 15 carries.

Run Defense: Chargers starting running back Ryan Mathews looked strong early, rushing nine times for 45 yards. His ability in the zone running game hurt the Bears, who occasionally looked a little overaggressive in filling gaps inside. But with youngsters playing key roles, that might be expected...San Diego's backups also ran hard. Overall, the team finished with 141 yards on 29 carries (4.9 yards per carry)...There is still some mistakes to clean up against the run for Chicago.  

Pass Defense: First things first. If you missed Jon Bostic's crushing hit to blow up a bubble screen in the second half, find a way to see it. Now. It was as violent (yet clean) a hit as you'll see this preseason...Later, Bostic and Khaseem Greene were frozen by playaction in the red zone, and Charlie Whitehurst burned the middle of the field for a touchdown...Early on, the Bears came after Philip Rivers, totaling three sacks, a forced fumble and an interception against the Chargers first-team offense. Both Corey Wootton and Shea McClellin registered impressive sacks...Whitehurst played well in relief, throwing two scores, while Brad Sorensen also tossed a touchdown against the backups...Overall, the Bears can look back on their dominance of Rivers and feel good about this performance.

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Special Teams: For as well as the Bears ran the football and pressured the quarterback Thursday night (at least early), the special teams were hands down the most impressive unit. Devin Hester started the night with a 45-yard kick return, only to be upstaged by Michael Ford on a 100-yard return that nearly went for a touchdown. He was caught from behind inside in the 5-yard line. Overall, the Bears had over 250 combined return yards...Early in the fourth quarter, the Bears blocked a punt that later set up a field goal...The coverage units were also good for most the night, and Robbie Gould connected on all four of his kicks (long of 48). 

Coaching: Marc Trestman's Chicago debut went smoothly from a coaching standpoint. No egregious errors were committed, and the Bears played hard for 60 minutes...Trestman's decision to settle Cutler down with a few easy bootleg throws was a smart choice. He still has much work to do with his veteran quarterback, but it's early. Trestman has plenty of time to get Cutler doing the things he needs to do to be successful in 2013. 

First half analysis for the Chicago Bears:

Pass Offense: On his first dropback, Jay Cutler took a sack after tight end Martellus Bennett was cleanly beaten on the blindside. A play later, he was sacked on third-and-18 by a simple four-man rush...Brandon Marshall isn't going to have a reduced role in the Trestman offense. He caught three passes, including a five-yard score, on the Bears' second drive...Bad Cutler showed up again on the third drive, as he forced a deep post into double coverage to Marshall. It was an awful decision...Overall, Cutler completed four of five passes for 38 yards, one touchdown and one interception...Backup Josh McCown was shaky to end the half. 

Run Offense: After rushing for just five yards on his first four attempts, Matt Forte broke a 58-yard run on a third-and-1 play. The toss sweep had strong blocking out front, and Forte did the rest with shifty moves in the open field...Forte scored his only touchdown on a power run to the right side. A number of blockers cleared an alley for Forte...On eight first-quarter carries, Forte gained 74 yards and scored twice...Backup Michael Bush proved difficult to tackle in the second quarter. He racked up 33 yards on nine carries as the Bears finished the first half with 107 total rushing yards. 

Run Defense: Ryan Mathews' first five carries netted 25 yards, including an 11-yard cutback that gashed the Bears front seven...Matthews finished his night with nine carries for 45 yards. His one-cut running routinely found room against the Bears' first unit. 

Pass Defense: Veteran linebacker James Anderson made a strong play on a third down attempt to tight end Antonio Gates to end the Chargers' opening drive...Corey Wootton beat rookie right tackle D.J. Fluker clean to the inside to sack Philip Rivers for a nine-yard loss. He's had a strong August...On the ensuing third down, Chris Conte picked off Rivers after the Chargers receiver fell...Shea McClellin blew past left tackle Max Starks for a strip sack of Rivers to end San Diego's third drive...Rivers completed five of eight passes for 50 yards and a pick over his four series of work. He was sacked three times...Backup Charlie Whitehurst passed for 59 yards on San Diego's scoring drive to end the half. 

Special Teams: On the opening kickoff, Devin Hester cleverly found a seam (like only Hester can) for a 45-yard return...The Bears were gifted a turnover when rookie returner Keenan Allen muffed a punt...Robbie Gould hit two chip-shot fields (23, 25 yards) to put Chicago up 20-0, although the 25-yarder was an adventure...The Chargers returned just two of four kickoffs. 

Coaching: After Cutler started looking rattled in the pocket, Trestman smartly gave his quarterback a few comfortable bootleg decisions to get him back into a groove. The decision appeared to calm the offense.