Written by: John Stocco
This was a game where Bears and Chargers fans had marked on their calendars when the schedule first came out. NFC North vs. AFC West. A potential Super Bowl matchup. Rivers, Allen, Gordon. Mack, Hicks, Jackson. Honestly, you look at the matchup before the 2019 season started and you would think it would fall in line as one of the games of the season. That literally couldn’t be farther from the case. The Bears are 3-3, and their playoff chances are dying week after week. The Chargers are 2-5, and they might be the unluckiest team in football. This game is borderline unwatchable, but who am I kidding? I’m going to watch every snap no matter what type of torture comes my way. Here’s why this is the biggest game of the season for both teams as we get closer to the trade deadline.
First, let’s start with the Bears, this is it. If the Bears want any shot at the playoffs, and if the Bears want any shot at making this team better at the trade deadline, they have to win this game. If the Bears lose, it’s over, and it’s time to pack it up. If the Bears lose this game it will be time to start preparing for the 2020 season, and by that I mean it will be time to start cutting losses on this team. Leonard Floyd, Haha Clinton-Dix, Taylor Gabriel, Charles Leno, I expect to all be put up on the trade block if the worst-case scenario happens, and the end of Mitch Trubisky will be near. You might think I’m crazy when I say that, but this is a team that’s ready to win now. The Bears have to be quick to react, they have to be quick with their judgement because this defense won’t be dominant for much longer. The Bears have a small window and we cannot sit here and wait for Trubisky to get it together while this defense rots away. If the Chicago Bears lose this game, we’re going to see changes, and quite frankly, we will need to see changes. If the Bears lose this game, General Manager Ryan Pace will have to start adding draft capital that we lost in the Khalil Mack trade. The Bears have two second round picks, a fifth, two sixth round picks, and a seventh. If the days of Mitch Trubisky are over, and the Bears are ready to win now, the Bears will need to prepare to trade up into the first round and take their quarterback. If the Bears win, and Mitch Trubisky turns that anger that he showed at Wednesday's press conference into anger on the field, then the Bears are 4-3, and hope is still alive for the season. If the Bears win this game, and Trubisky looks good, you might see Ryan Pace take a chance and add more weapons around Trubisky like a tight end, or get the running game started by adding a guard. The Bears season changes one way or another after Sunday.
Now let’s go out west and look at the team with zero fans. The Chargers are right up there with the Bears as the most disappointing team in the NFL. If it weren't for bad luck, the Chargers wouldn’t have any luck at all. They cannot stop tripping over themselves, and believe it or not, they still have a chance in the AFC. The AFC is pure garbage compared to the AFC. When you think of the AFC you think about the Patriots, Chiefs, Colts, Texans, and the Ravens. I might be wrong, but I see five teams. The Bills have played well, but is there enough faith in Buffalo to lock them in as a playoff team? The Chargers have a chance to make some moves, win a few games, and take a playoff spot. If they lose, they’re in the exact same position as the Bears. They have a win now team with a quarterback that is getting closer to retirement year after year. They have a solid defense, and one of the best wide receivers in the game today. If they lose to the Bears all of that hope is gone, and the Chargers could find themselves in a long rebuild. Rivers could be on his way out, Melvin Gordon could be traded at any time, and it wouldn’t shock me if the Chargers took phone calls for Keenan Allen.
The Bears and Chargers were two teams that showed a lot of promise last season, and during the offseason. Right now, the Bears and Chargers are both looking at possibilities where they can hit the reset button. A win is a win and it keeps them alive, but a loss, could have consequences that last this season, and could last the next several years.