After losing their openers of the NFL preseason, the Chicago Bears and San Diego Chargers will take the field, looking to get their first victories of 2013. The two teams will square off on Thursday night at Soldier Field.
In Week One of the exhibition season, Chicago lost 24-17 to the Carolina Panthers. The Chargers struggled to be competitive in their first game, falling to the Seattle Seahawks 31-10.
Jay Cutler will get even more playing time after staying in for the entire first quarter last week. He struggled early on, throwing an interception on the first play of the game. He recovered, though, completing six of his final seven passes.
Philip Rivers missed on just of his six passes last week, throwing for 45 yards. He should get a lot more attempts against Chicago, as he looks to improve on his 2012 campaign. San Diego missed the playoffs for a third straight year, and Rivers threw for less than 4,000 yards for the first time since 2007.
Bears rookie Jon Bostic will play at linebacker, following his impressive debut. In his first action as a pro, the second-round selection out of Florida intercepted Cam Newton and returned the pick for a 51-yard touchdown. Bostic will replace Brian Urlacher, who retired when Chicago declined to offer him a new contract.
The Chargers will be missing a few players due to injuries. Most notably, Malcom Floyd will miss multiple weeks with a knee sprain. He hopes to be ready for the regular season, but there is no timetable for his return.
ESPN will broadcast the contest nationally at 8 p.m. ET in Chicago. Viewers can watch a free live stream online with espn3.com.
Most preseason games don’t have a large point spread, but Chicago is a fairly heavy favorite against San Diego. The betting odds in Las Vegas have the Bears as a six-point favorite over the Chargers.