Final

Bears 10

(0-1, 0-1 away)

Chargers 25

(1-0, 1-0 home)

9:00 PM ET, August 14, 2010

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA 

1 2 3 4 T
CHI 3 7 0 010
SD 7 7 8 325

Ryan Mathews, short-handed Chargers roll past Bears

Associated Press

SAN DIEGO -- Ryan Mathews was so nervous before his debut that he had to duck into the bathroom to throw up.

He recovered quickly though. On his second NFL carry, Mathews was pushed back almost to the Chargers' goal line, then powered through linebacker Lance Briggs and ran for 18 yards.

Mathews had an impressive debut and the San Diego Chargers got along fine without holdouts Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill in a 25-10 exhibition victory over the Chicago Bears on Saturday night.

Mathews, the first-round draft pick who will replace the departed LaDainian Tomlinson, gained 50 yards on nine carries and caught two passes for 11 yards. Philip Rivers threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Legedu Naanee, one of the receivers the Bolts will depend on in Jackson's absence.

"You trust what you see and I've seen him now for three months," coach Norv Turner said. "He's got all the things you need to be an outstanding runner. It's exciting to have him."

The Chargers enjoyed watching Mathews drive through Briggs for the big gain.

"That was impressive," Rivers said. "He showed a little speed there in getting outside."

Said Mathews: "I kind of froze up on the corner or safety or whatever it was. I've got a lot of work to do still. The more I get more games in, the more practices in, the more fluent I'll be getting ready for that stuff."

Mathews said everything was going fast at first. He even beat guard Kris Dielman to the hole a few times.

"He told me to slow down a little bit. That was just the nerves," Mathews said. "I was just trying to get out there fast. That was me just overthinking it."

It was the Chargers' first game since they took a face-plant in a 17-14 playoff loss to the New York Jets, which was Tomlinson's last game with San Diego. He was released in February and signed with the Jets. The Chargers were 13-3 last year, winning their fourth straight AFC West title.

The Bears are coming off a 7-9 finish, their third straight season out of the playoffs.

"We have a lot of work to do, a long ways to go to be the type of football team we're going to be," coach Lovie Smith said. "But it is a start."

The Bears lost safeties Craig Steltz (ankle) and rookie Major Wright (finger).

"I've liked what Major has done through training camp and tonight also," Smith said. "We need to get him back on the field as soon as possible."

Restricted free agents McNeill, the left tackle, and Jackson, a Pro Bowl wide receiver, are holding out, upset that they haven't been given long-term contracts. The Chargers have threatened to put them on the roster exempt list if they haven't signed their tenders by Friday, meaning they'll be suspended for three games once they sign. They are believed to be willing to sit out the first 10 games, returning for the final six to gain an accrued season.

Rivers played two series and wasn't sacked. Backup Billy Volek was sacked once, midway through the second quarter. Brandyn Dombrowski, the first-string left tackle in McNeill's absence, played two series.

Dombrowski and Tyronne Green, who also played left tackle for the Chargers, squared off against Bears end Julius Peppers.

"I thought both our guys who we played at left tackle, against a real good football player earlier, played awfully well," Turner said.

The Chargers had six sacks.

Rivers' TD pass to Naanee was set up by a 51-yard kickoff return by Richard Goodman, an undrafted rookie, after Robbie Gould's 38-yard field goal.

Linebacker Brandon Lang, another undrafted rookie, had a big game. He blocked a punt late in the third quarter that rolled out of the end zone for a safety, and sandwiched Bears second-string quarterback Caleb Hanie along with Antwan Applewhite during a play that resulted in a sack and forced fumble for Applewhite, with Paul Oliver recovering. Hanie hurt his right shoulder on the play.

Bears starter Jay Cutler was in for only one series, going 2 of 2 for 47 yards. He was sacked once.

Hanie threw a 7-yard TD pass to Devin Aromashodu in the second quarter. It came seven plays after San Diego's Ryon Bingham was whistled for a neutral zone infraction as Gould kicked a 52-yard field goal, giving the Bears a first down on the Chargers' 30.

The Chargers committed nine penalties for 66 yards in the first half. Right tackle Jeromey Clary was whistled three times for false starts, including on consecutive plays on the Chargers' second drive.

Game notes


Chargers WR/PR Craig Davis sustained a hip pointer on a punt return in the first quarter and didn't return. ... Chicago LB Hunter Hillenmeyer sustained a foot injury.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
CHI
SD
1st Downs1418
Passing 1st downs
1110
Rushing 1st downs
07
1st downs from Penalties
31
3rd down efficiency
4-135-14
4th down efficiency
0-12-2
Total Plays5665
Total Yards216335
Yards per play3.95.2
Total Drives1010
Passing168215
Comp - Att
14-2917-31
Yards per pass
5.86.9
Interceptions thrown
11
Sacks - Yards Lost
6-481-5
Rushing48120
Rushing Attempts
2133
Yards per rush
2.33.6
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-31-3
Penalties7-4310-81
Turnovers21
Fumbles lost
10
Interceptions thrown
11
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession27:4332:17

Passing Leaders

CHIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Hanie10/171488.7112-21
Cutler2/24723.5001-6
SDC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Crompton6/11817.4010-0
Volek7/14775.5001-5

Rushing Leaders

CHICARYDSAVGTDLG
Bell6122.007
Taylor6101.707
SDCARYDSAVGTDLG
Mathews9505.6018
Brinkley5367.2014

Receiving Leaders

CHIRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Aromashodu47819.51476
Knox24723.50332
SDRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Latsko23618.00302
McMichael23316.50223

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERCHISD
chiFG09:02Robbie Gould 38 Yd 30
sdTD05:03Legedu Naanee 28 Yd Pass From Philip Rivers (Nate Kaeding Kick) 37
SECOND QUARTERCHISD
chiTD07:25Devin Aromashodu 7 Yd Pass From Caleb Hanie (Robbie Gould Kick) 107
sdTD00:17Mike Tolbert 1 Yd Run (Nate Kaeding Kick) 1014
THIRD QUARTERCHISD
sdFG12:34Nate Kaeding 28 Yd 1017
sdFG04:08Nick Novak 43 Yd 1020
sdSF02:04Ball Through End Zone 1022
FOURTH QUARTERCHISD
sdFG10:27Nick Novak 48 Yd 1025