As Bears’ kicker Eddy Piñeiro’s field goal faded inches wide of the goal post, the Chargers could breathe a collective sigh of relief, as a fourth quarter comeback, a dominant defensive performance from Joey Bosa, and the return of Melvin Ingram proved to be just enough in a 17-16 victory over Chicago.
When addressing the media after the game, head coach Anthony Lynn remarked that the feeling in the locker room was “relief.”
“Finally, you’re on a three-game losing streak and you’ve lost some close ones,” Lynn said. “At some point you gotta win one of these just so you know that you can.”
Regardless of whether the team wins by a missed field goal, or loses by one score, the Bolts believe that every result is earned, not based on chance.
“We gave it our all today,” defensive end Melvin Ingram said. “I don’t believe in luck.”
Ingram, who returned to the field Sunday after missing the past three games due to injury, provided another dynamic force on the Bolts defense as the defensive end tallied his first fumble recovery of the season.
“It’s always great to have Mel (Ingram) out there,” Bosa said. “With the speed we had around the edges… (Bears QB Mitch Trubisky) had no room to step up today.”
Bosa was prolific right from the start, sacking Trubisky on third down of the Bears’ opening offensive drive to force a punt.
“Joey Bosa has been playing outstanding,” Lynn said. “He’s all over the place. I can’t say enough good things about him (because) of the effort that he’s given.”
Ingram and Bosa lined up on the same side multiple times throughout the game creating mismatches which kept the pressure on Trubisky, who was sacked four times during the game.
The pressure provided by both defensive ends could be seen when Ingram helped create a mismatch for Bosa, who would connect with Trubisky for a critical third down sack late in the fourth quarter, forcing the Bears to punt instead of going for a lead-changing field goal.
Bosa would finish the game with a dominant line: seven tackles, two sacks, four tackles for loss and three QB hits.
While the sacks were vital, according to Ingram, the Chargers’ defensive success wasn’t purely dependent on sack numbers.
“It’s not about just sacks, it’s about (the quarterback) feelin’ it,” Ingram said. “And I felt like (Trubisky) felt our presence today.”
The defensive front line was aided by the secondary, who thanks to Casey Hayward, captured a crucial interception in the fourth quarter, swinging the momentum back toward the Bolts.
We lost a couple in a row, so it’s good to win,” Hayward said. “To come to a hostile environment and win is great. I played many years in this division, so I know how hard it is to get a win here.”
While Piñeiro’s narrow miss proved to be the difference in this game, quarterback Philip Rivers remarked there were a lot of little things the Chargers did well throughout the afternoon to capture their one-point lead in the first place.
“That kind of spun the whole thing to me,” Rivers said.
The touchdown was Gordon’s first rushing TD of the season.
“He showed some flashes of old Melvin today,” Lynn said.
Additionally, Rivers’ touchdown pass to Austin Ekeler to take the lead in the fourth quarter was the quarterback’s 400th passing touchdown of his career.
“It’s going to be tougher than we thought,” Rivers said. “But everything’s still in front of us.”
The Chargers return home to ROKiT Field at Dignity Health Sports Park next Sunday to host the Green Bay Packers. Kickoff is at 1:25 p.m. PT.