|Click to view photos from the Bears' 33-28 victory over the San Diego Chargers.|
The margin climbed to 20-0 late in the second quarter, but the Bears had to quell a Chargers rally in the second half before ultimately escaping with a 33-28 victory.
"We really wanted to focus on the first quarter tonight, with the majority of the guys who are going to be with us, quite frankly, and maybe a little bit into the second quarter," said coach Marc Trestman. "I thought we started out well."
Forte rushed for 74 yards and one touchdown on eight carries in the first quarter. His 58-yard run around left end on the Bears' second possession of the game sparked the offense, setting up
"I think that you can see that we wanted to make sure that part of our philosophy tonight was to allow our guys to come off the line of scrimmage to see where we were up front first, and giving Matt an opportunity to assert himself," Trestman said.
"I thought the guys up front and in the perimeter—our perimeter blocking was very good as well—were able to break some runs and that's an important start for our offense to gain confidence necessary to run the football first at Soldier Field and throughout the league we play."
Targeting Marshall on all five of his pass attempts, Cutler completed four to the Pro Bowl receiver for 38 yards. The other throw was intercepted by linebacker Donald Butler at the San Diego 6, one play after Bears safety
Marshall indicated that he was not the primary receiver on all five pass plays.
"They just left me open, so Jay came to me," said Marshall, who set a Bears record with 118 catches last season. "He went through his progressions and I was the guy that got the ball tonight."
The Bears generated four takeaways in the first half, giving them eight in the first six quarters of the preseason. The second one Friday night came when
The Bears converted the turnover into Forte's three-yard touchdown run, widening the margin to 14-0 late in the first quarter. The two rookies who started on the right side of the offensive line, guard
Even with their starters on the bench, the Bears continued to take the ball away. On back-to-back possessions, Keenan Allen muffed a punt that
The Bears turned both takeaways into short
The Chargers climbed to within 20-14 on Charlie Whitehurst's 12-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ladarius Green early in the third quarter. But undrafted rookie free agent
Two plays later, backup running back
The Chargers outgained the Bears 135-41 in the second half, eventually closing to within 27-21 and 30-28. But Gould provided the game's final points by kicking his fourth field goal without a miss, a 48-yarder, with :46 remaining in the fourth quarter.