Call it what it is: This game was terrible and hard to watch. But, for the first time in three weeks, the Bears came out on top of the poorly-played game and there were a couple good signs. Rapid fire…
• There are two big stories in this game. Two stories that could have a big impact on the Bears future: Their defense got a stop when they needed it and Jeremy Langford looks damn good.
• I’ll start with the defense. Lamarr Houston is now a full year removed from a serious knee injury and had his best game as a Bear. His two sacks on the Chargers final drive saved the game. When they needed pass rush, he provided it.
• Langford isn’t as good as Matt Forte yet. He really isn’t even close, but he has at least one special trait and several other good traits. His burst is special. When he sees a hole, he has an extra gear that most players just don’t have. There really isn’t a glaring weakness in his game. He maybe isn’t as tough between the tackles as you’d like — which is why Ka’Deem Carey got the start — but the same was said about Forte and Marshall Faulk early in their careers. Langford can play.
• Jay Cutler. What more can be said? He has been one of the five best quarterbacks in the league this year and the best in the division. Even Steve Young gave Cutler some credit.
• I’d feel bad for Philip Rivers if he wasn’t so easy to hate. He’s a great quarterback and is doing the best with what he has, but he just needs to shut up.
• I have no problem with Kyle Long’s penalty. It didn’t cost the Bears points because Robbie Gould wasn’t making a 52-yard kick anyway. I like seeing an offensive lineman stick up for his quarterback.
• I was worried about Gould in the preseason and for good reason. He sat down, figured out what was wrong and came back strong. He needs to go back to the drawing board again. There’s no excuse for those two misses.
• If you took Alshon Jeffery’s per game averages and stretched them out to 16 games, he’d have 132 catches for 1,968 yards.
• Another bad game for Eddie Goldman. The Bears need him to anchor the middle.
• Bruce Gaston is a name to watch going forward. The Packers liked him and tried to stash him on their practice squad before the Bears signed him. I don’t think he’ll ever be a star, but he could become a rotational player.
• Giving up points before halftime was inexcusable. It wasn’t just that they allowed the Chargers to drive 81 yards for a chip shot field goal, it was the manner in which they did so. Stupid mistake after stupid mistake.
• I get that Vic Fangio doesn’t trust his players, but what good does the prevent defense do at the end of the half? He guaranteed the Chargers would score points by giving them a 31-yard field goal instead of a possible 41-yarder. More than that, he learns nothing about his team. The Bears should be evaluating players and doing so by asking them to make football plays. Instead, they gave San Diego an easy completion to allow an easy field goal attempt.
• Zach Miller isn’t just a preseason hero anymore.
This win makes the previous two losses even more heartbreaking. The Bears should be 5-3, instead they’re 3-5. 5-3 and they’re in the playoffs, 3-5 and they’re not likely going to get there. The Rams are going to be a tough, tough test. Regardless of what this season holds, the Bears got a few good signs for the future with their defense finally stepping up and Langford looking like a possible future star.