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The Chargers Defensive Line: Week 9

The Chargers were finally able to snap their losing streak on Sunday by beating the Chicago Bears 17-16. Their defensive line was a mixture of good and bad play. They sacked quarterback Mitchell Trubisky three times and forced an interception. However, they also allowed running back David Montgomery to rush for 135 yards and a touchdown. The Chargers defensive line has to play better against a surging Green Bay Packers squad next Sunday if they hope to earn a victory.

Preview Vs The Packers

The Green Bay Packers have one of the more balanced offenses in the NFL and it all starts with their offensive line.

David Bakhtiari starts at left tackle and is an imposing 6’4” 310 lbs. He has been invited to one Pro Bowl and was named first-team All-Pro in 2018.

The Packers start rookie Elgton Jenkins at left guard. The second-round pick out of Mississippi State is tall for a guard, standing 6’5” and weighing 311 lbs.

Center Corey Linsley is incredibly strong, having benched 36 reps at the combine in 2014. He is the perfect size for a center, standing 6’3” and weighing 301 lbs.

Right guard Billy Turner is in his first year in Green Bay having spent last year with the Denver Broncos. He is massive for a guard, standing 6’5” and weighing 310 lbs.

Right tackle Bryan Bulaga is the elder of the group, having been with the team since 2010. The 2009 Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year stands 6’5” and weighs 314 lbs.

The Packers have traditionally relied heavily on the arm of Aaron Rodgers to lead them to victory. Their running game has been decent during their playoff years and it is no different this year. The Packers are ranked 18th in the league with 101.6 rushing yards per game. However, they are tied for 7th with 10 rushing touchdowns. They only have two rushes of 20 or more yards for the season. This is good for the Chargers as they have struggled against big gains on the ground.

The Chargers have seemed to have found their groove as pass rushers. This is good as the Packers rank in the middle of the league with 17 sacks allowed. However, Rodgers is known for being quick on his feet while under pressure as well as his ability to complete passes from any angle. The defensive line must contain him for them to have a chance against the pass.

Review Vs The Bears

The Good

Early in the first quarter, the Bears faced 3rd-and-11 from their own 30-yard line. Joey Bosa went straight through the right tackle and recorded the sack.

The Chargers struggled against the Bears running attack all game but they showed some life at times. Late in the first quarter, the Bears were on the Chargers 19-yard line. Trubisky gave the ball to his fullback who was quickly engulfed in Jerry Tillery’s grasp. While he did not end up making the tackle, by the time the fullback recovered it was too late as he was surrounded by Chargers defenders in all directions.

The Chargers held the Bears on eight consecutive plays at the goal line to end the half.

In the middle of the fourth quarter, Trubisky turned around to run away from the Chargers pass rush when he fumbled the ball. Damion Square promptly fell on it to give the Chargers possession deep in Bears territory.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Bears were threatening to win the game when Bosa stepped up to the challenge. Facing 3rd-and-10 from the Chargers 40-yard line, Trubisky tried to find the open receiver. Bosa sacked him to end the drive.

The Bad

In the middle of the first quarter, the Bears faced 1st-and-10 from the 50-yard line. Trubisky had more than plenty of time to complete the pass as the Chargers could not get within five yards of him. The pass was completed for a 31 yard gain.

Sometimes the Chargers simply got lucky on bad plays. Early in the second quarter, the Bears faced 3rd-and-Goal. Bosa pushed too far to have any impact on the play. Fortunately, Trubisky’s pass fluttered harmlessly in the end zone.

In the middle of the second quarter, the Bears faced 1st-and-10 from their own 29-yard line. Montgomery found room on the left side of the line and rumbled untouched for the first down.

In the middle of the third quarter, the Bears faced 1st-and-Goal. The Bears did a superb job of blocking and the Chargers could only watch as Montgomery galloped into the end zone for the touchdown.

In the middle of the fourth quarter, the Bears were at their own 21-yard line when they gave it to Montgomery. He proceeded to power his way for the first down.

The Ugly

Late in the second quarter, the Bears faced 2nd-and-3 from their own 30-yard line. Montgomery squeezed up the middle and took off for a gigantic 55 yard gain.

Late in the fourth quarter, Trubisky was leading a potential game winning drive. He spun around and ran for a critical first down with various Chargers defenders grasping at air.

Final Thoughts

The Chargers got lucky against a Bears squad who is having trouble finding an identity. The Packers are on the other end of the spectrum, their identity lies in the play of Rodgers with a decent running game to compliment his play. The most interesting fact about this game is that the Packers only have two rush’s of 20 or more yards while the Chargers have struggled with stopping the big gain on the ground. There is a chance that this statistic may play out in the Chargers favor but there is no way of knowing until Sunday.

David Hegler

Author David Hegler

BS in Business Management from Azusa Pacific University. Fanatical 49er fan. Avid fan of all Bay Area sports teams.

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