First quarter: Bears 3, Chargers 3
November, 20, 2011
By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com
AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastRyan Matthews is tackled by the Bears' Charles Tillman during the first quarter on Sunday.CHICAGO -- Chicago appeared to come out flat for Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers, and the result was a 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter.
Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers completed his first two passes of the game, including an 18-yard strike to Antonio Gates, and running back Ryan Mathews broke a 23-yard run as part of the team’s six-play scoring drive on the opening drive.
Chicago’s defense recovered just in time to snuff out San Diego’s drive at the Bears’ 10, and Nick Novak kicked a 28-yard field goal to give the Chargers a 3-0 lead with 9:40 left in the quarter.
But the fact San Diego scored first might mean trouble for the Bears. Coming into the game, the Bears held a 5-1 record through the first nine contests when they scored first and a 41-22 record under those circumstances since 2004. When the club’s opponent scores first, the Bears are 1-2 in 2011 and 28-30 since 2004.
The Bears responded on their ensuing drive -- after starting with a three-and-out possession to start the contest -- with a 42-yard field goal from Robbie Gould. The kick capped a 62-yard drive highlighted by a 31-yard completion from Jay Cutler to Johnny Knox, and a 15-yard catch from Roy Williams to convert a third-and-8.