Bears 20, Chargers 7

<b>Chicago</b>-- The San Diego Chargers went into Soldier Field needing a win for the soul and the City of San Diego. Doug Flutie entered the game with the team down 13-0 in the fourth quarter. He led the Bolts to a touchdown on his first series and first action of the year, but it was not enough as his arrival was a bit too late in the game, a 20-7 loss.

Chris Chandler did not waste anytime against the Chargers green secondary. He hit Justin Gage for 24 yards to open the game in front of Kwamie Lassiter who did not provide over the top coverage. A 12 yard pass to Dez White put Chicago quickly well into San Diego territory. Two nine yard runs by Anthony Thomas set the Bears up nicely. A big play by Terrence Kiel at the goal line on third down where he almost picked off a pass brought in Paul Edinger for a 38 yard field goal which he hit; Bears 3-0 after the nine play 56 yard drive.

The second Chargers series was almost all LaDainian Tomlinson. His first significant play was a screen for 10, then he hit a run for 13 after getting bottled up at the line. He gave way to Jesse Chatman who caught a ball for 8 and the running setup play action for a bootleg out to the left by Brees who found David Boston. A penalty prior to that throw on Courtney VanBuren set the Chargers back five and they were unable to get a first, settling for a field goal attempt. Steve Christie lined up from 46 and kicked it low. The ball was subsequently blocked by rookie linebacker Joe Odom, who just yesterday commented that the rookies have to step up.

Three plays after the block, the Bears were in San Diego territory again. Chris Chandler scrambled after pressure from DeQuincy Scott to gain 12 and White caught one ball for eleven and another for six. Bobby Wade then caught a ball 10 yards downfield when he sat in a soft spot in the zone. Anthony Thomas then took it up the gut for 15 yards to setup first and goal inside the five. Thomas eventually scored from the one to put the Bears up 10-0.

Drew Brees actually went deep on the next drive, trying to hit David Boston who was open. Brees threw it too far inside and it was intercepted by Charles Tillman. Chandler quickly showed Brees how to do it. He hit Justin Gage 28 yards downfield putting the ball on the Chicago 40. Luckily the Bears went backwards when Ray Lee Johnson forced a fumble, recovered by Chandler, and that was followed by a 10 yard penalty. They eventually punted and Eric Parker fumbled, but he was able to recover the ball.

With 7:22 in the third quarter, Chicago went for it on fourth and one on the San Diego 36. They made it behind Thomas. After the first, Chandler hit Desmond Clark with Terrence Kiel in coverage for a 31 yard gain to give the Bears first and goal. The Chargers were able to stop them short of the end zone and Edinger hit his 22 yard field goal to put the Bears up 13-0.

Leon Johnson, subbing for an ineffective Tim Dwight on kickoff returns, turned in a 35 yard return to give the Chargers great field position at midfield. They were unable to convert as Brees was off target on two throws to Tim Dwight.

Sammy Davis finally gave the Chargers a big play. He intercepted a Chandler pass deep in San Diego territory and gave Doug Flutie, subbing for Brees, the ball on the San Diego 26. Flutie immediately fired a strike to David Boston. Just the threat of Flutie passing, Tomlinson was able to take one up the gut for 14. Flutie then hit Dwight for a 22 yard gain. The Chargers, who normally run on first down, used Flutie to setup some passes. Flutie took a first down, finding no one open, ran the ball for 17 yards. Flutie then took a play action and hit Peelle for six yards. A Tomlinson run gave the Chargers first and goal at the three. Tomlinson scored on the next play to put the Chargers in the game, 13-7.

After the second Flutie drive was stopped, RW McQuarters took a punt back 36 yards on a 41 yard Darren Bennett punt, setting the ball up on the San Diego 22 with just over three minutes to go in the game. The A-Train followed a Dustin Lyman block for a first down and goal with 2:47 to go. Chicago took the ball down to the one before going for it, in an odd move, on fourth and one with :26 seconds to get a touchdown and put the game away, 20-7.

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