Rivers gets a dose of reality

CHICAGO-- A week after flashing skills that put many a mind at ease, Philip Rivers showed he has a lot to learn. His second pass of the game was a tailor made interception that Brian Urlacher took to the house – 64 yards.

What made it worse was the 52-yard kickoff return from undrafted rookie Cletis Gordon, setting the Chargers up within Bears' territory. Even if they don't make the third-and-eight situation, Pro Bowl punter Mike Scifres pins them deep.

But that isn't how this tale went down.

Philip Rivers locked on to Antonio Gates and Brian Urlacher was there waiting.

"He just threw it right to me," Urlacher said. "I caught it and went into the end zone."

"He read the slant all the way and knew the quarterback was going to throw that direction," said Bears' defensive coordinator Ron Rivera.

Rivers acknowledged that he was trying to make something out of nothing. He became complacent when he nailed a few such throws in practice and thought he could get away with the tighter coverage when the game turned real.

He was wrong.

"It was me trying to make something happen that isn't there," said Rivers. "He made a good play. I am not going to diminish the fact that it was a poor play but I am not going to dwell on it either. You learn from it and move on. If you are going to do that you do that in the preseason and get it out of your system."

The Bolts starting quarterback went 9-for-12 the rest of the way for 75 yards, getting sacked once. Aided by a 45-yard Michael Turner run but hurt by a 15-yard penalty on Ray Perkins, they settled for three on the third drive of the game.

The only other highlight would be a pass to Malcom Floyd that hit the mark for 21 yards in the second quarter.

Rivers, acting like a veteran poised in the pocket, didn't shy away from that first play. He was also realistic and believes that pass may be one that sets him free.

"If you are going to do that you do that in the preseason and get it out of your system," Rivers added. "There is probably a good chance I will throw an interception this season. I will do all I can to not have one but you have to be able to bounce back."

Next week will be yet another test in the young quarterback's life. Will he follow his own advice and bounce back or will he struggle to find the rhythm and sync needed to get that flow.

With Chicago playing more than its vanilla defense he got a taste of what the regular season could be like, unless he adjusts and grows. The Bears wanted to win.

Rivers says it was a wakeup call and his troops will be ready for next week.

"You never want to play bad but this is the perfect thing that could have happened to us," he explained. "If everything goes lovely in the preseason and everyone is rocking along you are setting yourself up for something to bad to happen. You go through these tough times and bounce back."

Prophetic?

Tune in next week.


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