Rivers wants to hide after Chargers’ 5th straight loss
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Chargers are going through such bad times that Philip Rivers doesn’t want to be around a football during their bye week.
Yes, it’s that bad.
Zach Miller made a one-handed grab of a 25-yard touchdown pass from Jay Cutler with 3:19 to go, and the Chicago Bears beat the San Diego Chargers 22-19 on Monday night.
The Chargers (2-7) have lost five straight, their longest skid since dropping six straight in 2011.
“I’m not going to touch a football,” Rivers said of the Bolts’ forthcoming bye week. “When you lose five in a row it’s pretty sickening. When it’s like this you kind of want to dig a hole and hide for a little while.”
Rivers was 26 of 42 for 280 yards. It was the first time in six games that he didn’t throw for more than 300.
Cutler, who overcame an interception return for a touchdown and a fumble to throw for 345 yards, calmly led the Bears on the winning 10-play, 80-yard drive after the Chargers opened a 19-14 lead on rookie Josh Lambo’s 22-yard field goal.
Miller made a leaping grab with his right hand and scored. Rookie Jeremy Langford, subbing for the injured Matt Forte, ran in the 2-point conversion.
It was the first lead for Chicago, which scored 15 points in the fourth quarter.
“It’s been a tough stretch to say the least. It’s crazy how they are all similar,” Rivers said. “We’ve had a chance in all of them. We’re not surrendering but we all who we are and that’s a 2-7 team on a five-game skid. We just can’t make the play down the stretch to hang in there or finish the game.
“We’ve had a chance in all of these and we just don’t make the plays. Either we’re not good enough or they just outplayed us — probably a little of both.”
Cutler’s two TD passes broke the franchise record, giving him 139 with the Bears. He had been tied with Hall of Famer Sid Luckman, who threw his final touchdown pass as a member of the Bears on Sept. 17, 1950.
The Bears (3-5) snapped a two-game losing streak. San Diego (2-7) lost its fifth straight.
Cutler never wavered in another tight game for Chicago. He continually attacked San Diego’s depleted secondary, completing 27 of 40 passes.
Two plays before the TD throw to Miller, Cutler was hit and still completed a 12-yard pass to Alshon Jeffery on third-and-6.
The Chargers made numerous mistakes.
Rivers threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gates in the fourth quarter but it was nullified when right guard D.J. Fluker was whistled for being an ineligible receiver downfield. The Chargers had to settle for Lambo’s 22-yard field goal.
Earlier in that drive, wide receiver Stevie Johnson spiked the ball after making a catch for a first down at the 4 and was whistled for delay of game.
“It’s all emotion. We’re out there playing hard and I was trying to get in the end zone,” Johnson said. “I didn’t really spike it that hard but they called it and that is part of it. I’ve got to be smarter than that.”
The Bears had a rough first half, but the Chargers couldn’t put them away.
Cutler lost a fumble on a sack and then made an off-the-mark throw to Jeffery, which second-year cornerback Jason Verrett intercepted and returned 68 yards for a 13-0 lead.
The Chargers suffered even more injuries.
Verrett hurt his groin one play after his pick-six and came out, but remained on the sideline. Cornerback Patrick Robinson left with a neck injury.
Wide receiver Malcom Floyd, who is playing his last season, injured his left shoulder while diving trying to make a catch. Eight days earlier, San Diego’s Keenan Allen, one of the NFL’s leading receivers, suffered a season-ending lacerated kidney when he landed hard at the end of a spectacular touchdown catch in a loss at Baltimore.
Cutler broke the franchise record for touchdown passes when he found Martellus Bennett for a 1-yard score midway through the second quarter.
Langford scored on a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter to start Chicago’s comeback.
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