The defense allowed just 12 total points and took the a weakened San Diego offense out of a balanced approach as the game went on. But pass rush from the down linemen was nearly non-existent.
Even when the Bears did get to Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, they couldn’t “get” to him. Rivers was under virtually no pressure early, saw the rush pick up occasionally in the second quarter to force several throwaways, but too often the outside rush allowed Rivers to ease away from pressure.
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“We knew we were going to be up against a big test,” said coach John Fox.
Jarvis Jenkins was credited with three solo tackles but also was penalized for roughing the passer with 15 seconds to play in the first half, helping set up the Chargers for a field goal on what had been an incomplete pass.
“I thought all-in-all we hung in there pretty well defensively and that was a pick-six that we gave up offensively,” Fox said.
Moon's Game Grade: C
Personnel upheaval hit the defensive line hard at a time when the scheme was changing to a 3-4, and off-field incidents cost the unit two (Ray McDonald, Jeremiah Ratliff) of its projected starting three down-linemen, ones who knew the 3-4 system. Then five-technique Ego Ferguson was lost to a knee injury, further depleting what was expected to be at least a respectable position group.
Rookie Eddie Goldman added power to the interior with his work at nose tackle, and indications are that Goldman will develop into what Vic Fangio’s 3-4 needs as an anchor in the middle.
Jenkins has been a solid addition, delivering more pass rush (3.5 sacks) than he had previously in his career combined (2 sacks). More important, he has been a leader in the locker room and on the field, where he is second on the Bears with 4 tackles for loss.
Moon's Mid-year Grade: C+