-- Game one against the Chicago Bears left no doubt that preseason is over. Despite finishing the game, 14-3, the Bolts struggled.
--- The tempo was set early in Sunday's game. The Chicago Bears were determined to extinguish the San Diego Chargers offensive foundation-LaDainian Tomlinson- by establishing a short field for the MVP to play on. They succeeded, at first. L.T. gained a mere eight yards in 10 carries for the first half.
--The NFC Champs quickly shut down L.T.'s traditional running game, but they could not stop him forever as he pushed his way through the holes created by the offensive line for a touchdown.
--- Before L.T. got some room to move, Rivers was forced to get the ball out quick and went back to preseason play, using players like Antonio Gates, Michael Turner and Vincent Jackson.
---Philip Rivers utilized Gates's versatility early on. He picked up 17 yards on his first possession and provided the first sigh of relief in the season-opener. With less than a minute to go in the third quarter, the game's go-to-guy tip toed into the end zone for the first touchdown of the game. Gates finished with 107 receiving yards.
-- Jackson was unsuccessful with his opportunities to connect for touchdowns. An incomplete and a penalty were not Rivers intentions when he threw an end zone pass to Jackson, but the wide receiver‘s quick thinking showed game maturity. When Jackson pushed Charles Tillman, who had inside position, he stopped an interception and maintained Chargers possession. His second chance letdown came from himself rather than the three Bears who hit the third-year player after the ball bounced off his chest pads.
-- All preseason it was Turner who filled the void that L.T.'s absence created, so it was only fitting that he was called upon when the Bears continually stopped Tomlinson. He sat out Wednesday's practice (ankle), and it was questionable whether he would play on Sunday. The Chargers are glad he did. Turner finished with 56 yards.
-- Marlon McCree changed the direction of play, when he intercepted a touchdown pass. The safety brought continuous pressure, with many stops throughout the game.
-- A lot of attention was devoted to rookie Eric Weddle this preseason, but the strong safety showed it was well deserved. In his rookie debut, Weddle came up with a sack and contributed to the strong defense that forced the Bears to travel the field goal route.
-- Two more sacks came from Jacques Cesaire and Shaun Phillips, and Rivers was sacked three times by the Chicago Bears defense.
-- Darren Sproles, who arguably fought the hardest to play in regular season, was injured on the first return.
Gates-way to Victory
BoltsReport Top Stories
LISTEN: Which AFC West Teams Improved?Carl Dumler and Nick Kendell share some immediate thoughts on the Denver Broncos draft haul, before going around the AFC West to see how the competition shaped up. Which Divisional…
Mile High Huddle05/05/2017
Grading The AFC West's 2017 Draft ClassesSenior Draft Analyst Erick Trickel examines the draft classes and undrafted free agent classes of Denver's Divisional rivals. Which AFC West teams came out on top?
Mile High Huddle05/03/2017
Broncos Coaches Have Reached Out To BarnidgeThe Broncos might be interested in Pro Bowl tight end Gary Barnidge.
Mile High HuddleMonday at 3:39 PM
Broncos On The Brink: Jordan TaylorChad Jensen is spotlighting young Broncos on the brink. But are they players on the brink of stardom or obscurity? Today, we focus on wideout Jordan Taylor.
Mile High HuddleSunday at 9:38 AM
Joseph Is Looking For Specific QB TraitsBroncos head coach Vance Joseph recently pinpointed which traits will determine who wins the starting quarterback competition.
Mile High Huddle05/18/2017