The Chargers lost to the Bears Monday night, 22-19, in front of a national audience and a full house at Qualcomm Stadium. It was a game in which the Chargers led until the end of the fourth quarter, when Bears quarterback Jay Cutler hit tight end Zach Miller for a 25-yard touchdown with 3:19 left in the game. Cutler went for two points and running back Jeremy Langford got it on a rush, forcing the Chargers to at least get a field goal in order to tie the game (and a touchdown to win it).
More than three minutes is plenty of time for Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers – (he’s had to make miracles happen in much more dire circumstances in the past) – but at Chicago’s 46-yard-line, Rivers was sacked twice, pushed back for eight-yards and then for 10. A first-and-10 turned into a third-and-23, then a fourth-and-23, both resulting in incomplete passes.
Cutler kneeled on the ensuing drive, and the Chargers fell to 2-7 heading into their bye week.
“We don’t have the answers right now,” Rivers said after the game. “It’s not surrendering and saying we’re not good enough. I’m not saying we’re surrendering, but we are what we are, and that’s 2-7 on a five-game skid. I think the bye week will be good for us to just take a deep breath.
"At this point, I think you play for respect. When I say respect, the respect of other guys in the locker room. I really think there’s nothing worth past it than that. That’s what you play for. That’s why I’m going to show up and continue to go … because I want to make sure that I continue to earn and have that [respect] from those other guys in there. So, I hope the rest of us will do the same.”
Here are some more highlights:
The Chargers struck first – a problem in past games this season, where they’ve fallen behind by several scores in the first half – with a score on their opening possession. Rivers marched 63 yards on eight plays before hitting Danny Woodhead on a wheel route for a 14-yard touchdown. The team kept the lead until 3:19 remained in the fourth quarter.
It was the longest lead the Chargers have had in a game all season, but in the end, it didn’t matter.
Wide receiver Malcom Floyd laid out to catch a deep pass from Rivers in the second quarter, and remained on the ground after the play finished. Chargers medical staff attended to Floyd and after several minutes, he walked off the field with help from trainer James Collins. He did not return to the game.
Floyd, 34, is in his last season. He has already announced he will retire after this year. Entering Monday’s game, Floyd ranked ninth among NFL receivers in snaps played this season and second in yards-per-catch (19.5).
Cornerback Patrick Robinson exited the game with a neck injury in the second quarter. He also did not return.
CB Jason Verrett came through with a big play in the second quarter, when he intercepted a pass from Cutler to WR Alshon Jeffery and took it 68 yards to score a touchdown. It was the Chargers’ first pick-6 since November 3, 2013.
On Chicago’s next drive, Verrett – who is battling a groin injury – pulled himself out of the game after giving up a 47-yard pass to Jeffery. He would not return.
“After that deep ball that I gave up, that was like a momentum shift for them," Verrett said. "They found a way to win.
“It’s very frustrating. We have five straight losses. All of them came down to a last-minute drive.”
Verrett made the interception a few plays after wide receiver Dontrelle Inman fumbled the ball, and Chicago recovered.
GORDON … GOING … GONE?
First round draft pick Melvin Gordon ran for 31 yards on eleven rushes, with a bulk of that coming in the first half.
Across the field, rookie fourth-round running back Jeremy Langford filled in for the injured Matt Forte, and rushed for 72 yards on 18 carries. He also notched a touchdown.
It isn’t fair to compare the two, as they are both working in different systems, behind different lines and facing different defenses. They're two different backs facing different challenges. But, the lack of production is frustrating for Gordon, who has yet to get his first NFL touchdown or really be a workhorse in a game.
“I would like to,” Gordon said, when asked if he wants more touches. “Danny [Woodhead] got the hot hand, so you got to roll with him.”
Woodhead finished the game with 33 yards on six carries and 78 yards on six receptions.
GUESS WHO’S BACK
After missing two games because of a groin injury, safety Eric Weddle returned to the field, finishing with a team-leading 13 tackles and a recovered fumble caused by OLB Melvin Ingram’s strip-sack of Cutler.
“It’s tough sledding, but I only know one way, and that’s to keep fighting,” Wedle said of the five straight losses. “Keep believing.
"Guys need to understand our record doesn’t determine what you are as a player, as a man, as a pro. It’ll even show you more now what you’re all about. You have the respect of your teammates, and that’s what you’re playing for right now.”
Bears kicker Robbie Gould missed a 47-yard field goal attempt on the Bears opening drive and then missed another in the third quarter — this time from 34-yards — when the ball bounced off the upright.
Chargers kicker Josh Lambo missed an extra point in the first half (on what looked to be a bad hold by punter Mike Scifres} before going on to notch two field goals, his longest coming in at 31-yards.