The San Diego Chargers will take on their next preseason opponent this Thursday when they play the Chicago Bears. Like in week one, the Chargers will be playing this game to figure out how to best prepare for and actually play this season. Last week against the Seattle Seahawks, the Chargers starters performed very well and gave fans a reason to be optimistic about the future. However, once the reserves came in, the Chargers looked weak and were outplayed by the Seattle reserve players. This week against the Bears, there are a few important things to watch for.
Consistent play from the starters
Last week, the Chargers first unit played very well. They beat a supposedly better Seattle team on both ends of the football. However, they only played for a small fraction of the game. The starting offense was only on the field for one drive so there wasn’t a lot of time to really show their ability. Against Chicago, it is likely that the first unit won’t play more then a quarter so we really won’t get a full picture of the team’s ability here either. One thing we can do however, is compare the brief time they were on the field last week to this week’s performance. It will be important for the team to play consistently good football Thursday to show that San Diego is truly a competitor and Seattle wasn’t just having a bad game.
Jay Cutler versus the Charger secondary
Last week, the starting secondary wasn’t really tested by Russell Wilson throwing the ball deep. Against the Bears, the Chargers secondary will face Jay Cutler. Cutler is known throughout the NFL as a quarterback with incredible arm strength and he will most likely try to throw some deep passes against the unproven defensive backs in San Diego. Hopefully, the secondary will be able to prevent Cutler from beating the Bolts over the top. If he is able to make big plays in the few drives he will be on the field, San Diego may be in for major defensive struggles this season.
Receiver position battles continuing
With Danario Alexander out for the year, the wide receiver position in San Diego has totally changed. The top three receivers will see most of the targets during the season and now there are only four receivers fighting for spots. The front-runner, Malcolm Floyd, has recently sprained his ankle and will be out for most if not all of the preseason. That leaves Vincent Brown, Eddie Royal, and Keenan Allen all plenty of chances to prove themselves. The two that become Rivers’ favorite targets in the rest of the preseason will probably be the two that join Malcolm Floyd once the season starts.