We saw the Jekyll and Hyde act we’re so used to from this Bears offense in the first quarter..
On the first drive, the O-line got abused: Matt Forte went down for a loss, Jay Cutler was stripped on second down and then sacked on third down.
When they got the ball back, though, it was the Cutler-to-Brandon Marshall and Forte show. Cutler hit Marshall for two completions early in the drive, then on 3rd-and-1, Alshon Jeffery and Jermon Bushrod got great blocks on the outside, allowing Forte to bust a toss play for 58 yards.
We’ve seen the Bears’ quarterbacks work on back-shoulder throws, and Cutler was looking for it on 1st-and-goal, when he hit Marshall for a touchdown. Marshall showed his strength to secure the ball against the Chargers’ corner.
When Cutler got great field position after a Chris Conte pick for series No. 3, he threw an awful interception, trying to force the ball to Marshall. Donald Butler was right there for the pick.
Here are some other observations from the first quarter of Bears vs. Chargers:
• Interesting group of captains for the coin toss: Tim Jennings, Major Wright, Alshon Jeffery, Matt Slauson and Eric Weems.
• Always pay attention to who is on the top special-teams units, as that’s how frings players make the roster. Your kickoff return team: Devin Hester, Jon Bostic, Khaseem Greene, Blake Costanzo, Craig Steltz, Tony Fiammetta, Tom Zbikowski, Anthony Walters and Steve Maneri.
• On kickoff coverage: Weems, Costanzo, Walters, Steltz, Zack Bowman, Sherrick McManis, Bostic, Greene, Tom Nelson and Isaiah Frey.
• Jordan Mills got pushed back on the play when Cutler fumbled, though fault to that goes to Martellus Bennett who was beat by Jarret Johnson. Mills also got beat on an outside rush by Dwight Freeney on Cutler’s pick, but Freeney hit the turf and it didn’t seem to affect Cutler.
• Shea McClellin wasn’t doing much of anything off the edge in the first quarter, until he beat Max Starks outside and got a strip sack.
• Tony Fiammetta and Steve Maneri were getting reps with the first team as extra blockers.
• We still haven’t seen any receptions by Alshon Jeffery or Martellus Bennett, both of whom looked very good in training camp.
• There was a nice chess match of audibles between Philip Rivers and Lance Briggs during the Chargers’ first drive that led to Stephen Paea blowing up a run play.
• On Forte’s touchdown run late in the quarter, he went over the right side, with rookies Jordan Mills and Kyle Long doing their jobs, and Long got out in front for a lead block.