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The Week Ahead: Bears prep to host Chargers

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Three days after their disappointing 36-25 home loss to the Saints, the Bears return to the practice field Wednesday to continue preparing for Sunday’s game against the Chargers at Soldier Field.

The Bears (3-3) have lost two straight after winning three in a row. The defending NFC North champions are in third place in the division behind the Packers (6-1) and Vikings (5-2) and ahead of the Lions (2-3-1).

The Chargers (2-5) have lost three straight after a 2-2 start. Last Sunday they dropped a heartbreaker 23-20 to the Titans in Tennessee. It appeared Los Angeles had twice scored the go-ahead touchdown in the final seconds, but both times the play was reversed after a replay review and the ball was placed at the 1-yard line. Melvin Gordon then lost a fumble on second-and-goal from the 1 with just :15 remaining.

The Chargers are led by quarterback Philip Rivers. This season the 16-year veteran has completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 2,114 yards with 11 touchdowns, six interceptions and a 92.9 passer rating.

Storyline of the week
The Bears will once again try to kick-start a dormant offense that mustered only 85 yards and four first downs through the first three quarters of last Sunday’s loss to the Saints. The offense figures to be more balanced versus the Chargers than it was against New Orleans when the Bears had 54 pass attempts and seven rushes, the fewest in a game in franchise history.

Series history
The Bears lead the all-time series 7-5 and are 4-0 versus the Chargers at Soldier Field. The Bears won the last meeting 22-19 on Nov. 9, 2015 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. They overcame a 16-7 fourth-quarter deficit, scoring the go-ahead points with 3:19 remaining on Jay Cutler’s 25-yard touchdown pass to Zach Miller, who plucked the ball out of the air with one hand. Lamarr Houston helped seal the victory with two sacks on the Chargers’ final drive.

Numbers game
The Bears enter Week 8 ranked 30th on offense in the NFL (28th rushing and 29th passing) and 10th on defense (12th against the run and 13th versus the pass). The Chargers rank 14th on offense (27th rushing and 3rd passing) and 11th on defense (tied for 21st against the run and 5th versus the pass).

Talk show
Bears coach Matt Nagy will address the media Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will speak Wednesday, while offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich, defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano and special-teams coordinator Chris Tabor will conduct press conferences Thursday.

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