Chargers struggle to protect Philip Rivers


On Thursday night in Chicago, the Chargers attempted 12 pass plays with Philip Rivers in the game.

On three of those plays, Rivers was sacked.

Yes, it was not a good night for the Chargers’ pass protection.

First, rookie right tackle D.J. Fluker was beaten inside by Bears defensive end Corey Wootton for a sack of Rivers. Later, left tackle Max Starks was beaten outside by end Shea McClellin, who stripped Rivers of the ball. The Bears recovered the fumble, and five plays later, Matt Forte scored a three-yard TD run. Finally, on Rivers’ last snap, Bears tackle Nate Collins got around right guard Jeromey Clary to take down Rivers.

The Chargers will have a solid receiving corps when Malcom Floyd returns from a knee injury. It’s not as deep it was — the loss of Danario Alexander to an ACL tear really stings, given his field-stretching ability — but the Chargers can be competitive in the passing game with Rivers and a full complement of his receivers when their quarterback has some time to scan the field.

However, on Thursday night, the limitations of the Chargers’ passing attack were hard to miss. Their offensive line really had its hands full, and their receiving corps needs Floyd. None of Rivers’ five completions were to a wide receiver.