The Los Angeles Chargers excelled in all three phases to defeat the Chicago Bears 30-13. The first half was a showcase of the Bolts’ stellar offense while the defense made quintessential plays throughout the matchup.
“It was complementary football, we stopped them back-to-back, offense went and scored,” said Bolts safety Derwin James. “That’s complementary football, that’s the football we want to play.”
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert made 31 throws for 298 yards and three touchdowns, running back Austin Ekeler led in rushing yards with 29 from 15 carries and passing yards with 94 from eight catches.
“Tonight, the ball was coming my way and so I was able to make a few plays,” Ekeler said. “We got to make that we’re staying level, don’t get too emotional either side … let’s have the same energy and then get a win on Monday.”
With their starting quarterback Justin Fields injured, the Bears relied on Tyson Bagent who made 25 passes for 232 yards. Bagent endured one sack for a loss of 10 yards and two interceptions.
The lone sack came on the fourth play of the game by linebacker Joey Bosa.
“The goal is always to make a play that first series, make a sack and to be able to come up big,” Bosa said.
The Chargers also played a well-disciplined game, only losing 15 yards from two penalties.
Linebacker Eric Kendricks led the defense with 10 total tackles, nine being solo tackles. During the third quarter, Kendricks swatted away a pass with the athleticism of a block by Lakers star Anthony Davis.
Derwin James caught a late pick and Asante Samuel forced a turnover on downs. These plays caused the entire defensive line to dance and celebrate in the endzone.
“We’re just trying to get together and figure out our identity as we make plays,” Samuel said. “Every time you make a play, you’re supposed to have fun with your teammates and that’s what we emphasized this week, find the celebrations and trying to turn up with each other and have fun.”
Rookie Daiyan Henley saw action on defense in the final minutes of the game, ultimately getting two solo tackles in the effort. He was grateful to his coaches for allowing him to contribute in the matchup and explained the level of fight the Bolts had.
“No matter what the outside world sees, what we have inside the building is what matters the most,” Henley said. “The defense and the offense is going to continue to progress.”
The Chargers leaped to a 14-0 lead early in the game. On the Bears’ third possession, defensive back Ja’Sir Taylor picked off Bagent. The Bolts benefited from the turnover by earning a 43-yard field goal by kicker Cameron Dicker.
“I thought we had a great plan, we went out there and executed,” Herbert said. “We had a great week of practice. I’m not surprised that we had great success moving the ball early.
The Chargers scored in their first five possessions, resulting in a 27-7 lead with 8:51 left in the third quarter. Bolts head coach Brandon noted how Herbert was in “good rhythm and timing.”
“His feet and his eyes were working together and that’s when he’s at his best,” Staley said. “Our guys did a good job of protecting the passer.”
Herbert targeted seven teammates multiple times, including Simi Fehoko who scored his first NFL touchdown on a pass. Another strong offensive contributor was tight end Donald Parham Jr. who made four receptions for 43 yards.
“This was a lot closer to that 2021 version of Donald Parham, he’s a difference maker,” Staley said. “The run-after catch, he did that all 2021. He’s continuing to improve.”
While the Chargers did not score a touchdown for the second half, Dicker kept them competitive by securing two field goals, including one from 53 yards out.
The defense also contained the Bears to 28 rushing yards in the second half.
The Chargers how prepare to clash against the New York Jets on November 6 at 5:15P.M.