By the Numbers
--The Chargers and Chicago Bears have faced each other only nine times in regular-season play. The last time the teams met was in 2003, where the Chicago Bears came up on top, 20-7.
--The Chargers and Bears finished with the best records in their respective conferences last season. The Bolts finished with a 14-2 record, while the Bears finished 13-3.
--In 2006, the Chargers had 11 players invited to the Pro Bowl, most in the league. The Bears had the second most with eight.
--Ron Rivera brings his familiarity with the Bears to the San Diego sidelines. Having spent the last three seasons coaching the Bears defense, he is used to installing the Chicago defense and coaching against the offense. His understanding helps coach Norv Turner confirm what the Chargers are seeing on film.
--Turner knows that good teams like the Bears have no reason to make drastic changes, so he is studying how the Bears attacked similar offenses and planning his counter-punches accordingly.
--Chicago offensive coordinator Ron Turner is the brother of the Chargers' head coach. Norv Turner is not worried about playing against family. He said players and coaches match up against friends, family members and ex-teammates all the time and -- once the game gets going -- it does not matter what familiar faces comprise the opposing team.
--With no preseason action, LaDainian Tomlinson is eager to get on the field. However, unlike the last time L.T. faced the Bears, he will not square off against his rookie-year nemesis, Anthony Thomas, who is now playing with the Buffalo Bills.
Both entered the league in 2001, when Thomas beat out Tomlinson for Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. Since then, L.T. has been on the fast track to the Hall of Fame while the A-Train's career has derailed. In 2006, Tomlinson was named League MVP and set 13 records, while Thomas finished with fewer than 400 yards rushing.
20 Years Overdue
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