(CBS Chicago) -- The Chicago Bears's season isn't going as expected, especially after running away with the NFC North. The elite defense was supposed to lead the way again, with Mitch Trubisky and the offense making strides as the Bears push for the playoffs again. But at 3-3, having lost two in a row and slipping further and further behind the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings, the team is searching for answers. They may not find any in their Week 8 matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Bears dropped their last two games to the New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders. The vaunted Bears defense, including Khalil Mack, have looked mortal lately as well. The Saints' Latavius Murray and the Raiders' Josh Jacobs each dumped 100-plus yards and two touchdowns on them. Teddy Bridgewater tossed two more TD passes for the Saints, who put up 36 points.
According to CBS San Francisco sports director Dennis O'Donnell, "when [Vic] Fangio went to Denver, something happened with that Chicago defense, led by Khalil Mack. It's not the same defense as it was a year ago, and that makes the offense look that much better."
But the offense actually isn't all that great either. "Mitch Trubisky... I'm not sure is the answer," says O'Donnell. "Chicago fans will tell you he is not the long-term answer." That opinion continued to take hold in last week's home loss to the Saints. Trubisky went 34-54 for 251 yards, as the offense didn't seem to know what it was doing. A few more weeks of this, and Matt Nagy might hand things over to Chase Daniel.
The Los Angeles Chargers' season isn't quite going to plan either. The team has pulled out only two wins. One of them was over the Miami Dolphins, which is almost a freebie at this point. The other came in a Week 1 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts, a team that was beginning its transition between starting quarterbacks. But two wins don't tell the whole story for what O'Donnell describes as, "the best two-win team in the NFL."
The Chargers haven't lost by more than a touchdown in any of their five losses. And the outcome of last week's loss to the Tennessee Titans hinged on a single play. In O'Donnell's telling "Melvin Gordon finally plays, finally gets a chance to get on the football field and fumbles at the one-yard line and loses the football. Consequently, they lose the game."
It was another heartbreaker for a Chargers team that has suffered its fair share this season. "The Chargers aren't this bad," says O'Donnell. Philip Rivers had a productive afternoon in the loss to the Titans, throwing for 329 yards and two touchdowns. Gordon, who averaged just two yards per carry on 16 carries, still seemed rusty in his third game back. Both will get another chance in Week 8 against the Bears, who might actually be as bad as they look.
The Bears' dysfunction will probably continue, and, as O'Donnell predicts, the "Chargers get back in the win column this week."
The Bears play the Chargers Sunday @ 12 p.m CT.
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