Up, Down and Sideways (Bears Preview Week 11)

Philip Rivers

The Bears (6-3) kick off four straight games against the AFC West by hosting the San Diego Chargers (4-5) at 3:15 on Sunday. After a big win last week against the Lions, the Bears remain in the NFC playoff picture. The struggling Chargers will attempt to halt a four game losing streak while the Bears try to extend their four game win streak.

UP…
Guess which quarterback leads the NFL with 15 interceptions this year? It’s Chargers QB Philip Rivers who has looked like a shell of his former self this season. And guess which defense is top five in passes intercepted this year? The Chicago Bears who picked off Matthew Stafford 4 times last week. That combination could make for a big defensive outburst against the Chargers on Sunday.

DOWN…
The injury report this week revealed two critical losses for the Bears offensive line. Rookie right tackle Gabe Carimi (knee) was put on injured reserve after missing all but two games this year. Left guard Chris Williams (wrist) will also miss the rest of the season which means more changes to an ever-evolving offensive line. Edwin Williams will step into the starting lineup at guard but he lacks the quickness and experience of Chris Williams. Forte’s production could dip unless Edwin proves to be a suitable season-long replacement. If he fails, Frank Omiyale stands in the shadows waiting to replace him. Based on his past ineffectiveness no one wants to see him back in the starting line up. Edwin Williams will be given every chance to succeed.

Mathews tries to run through the Titans defense

SIDEWAYS…
Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert are a one-two punch that could cause troubles for the Bears on Sunday. Though Chicago ranks a respectable 12th in total yards allowed against the run this season, they have been gashed by long runs on a couple of occasions. Lions running back Jahvid Best ran 88 yards for a touchdown in week 5 while Michael Turner had a 53 yard run for the Falcons in week 1. The defense has managed to prevent those game changing runs in every other game this season but there is talent in the Chargers backfield. If the defense can contain Mathews and Tolbert this Sunday, the Chargers offense will be pass heavy and turn over prone.

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