The San Diego Chargers season started out excellent for the team, well at least the preseason that is. With so much anticipation and turmoil surrounding this season for the Chargers, the team calmly played as a team and beat the Dallas Cowboys in a meaningless game.
The game is meaningless in terms of results and numbers, but the information gained by watching certain players participate is priceless. The Chargers took the lead on a Danny Woodhead eight yard rushing TD in the first quarter. The starters on offense played in one series and Melvin Gordon was given six rushing attempts. Gordon only managed 11 yards on his six carries and looked a little stiff and nervous. Surely there will be much better days for the first round pick out of the University of Wisconsin.
Despite Gordon’s poor performance, the running game looked very potent. The team rushed for 135 yards on 38 carries for the day against the Cowboys defense. Branden Oliver ran for 53 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries while rookie running back Jahwan Edwards ran for 53 yards on 11 carries including a 17 yard run. The rookie out of Ball State looked very good, but has a long road ahead of him if he wishes to make this Chargers team.
Philip Rivers managed to go 2-2 for 20 yards in his one series played. He will be eased into playing time. No sense running the veteran QB out there and risk a potential injury. Rivers does need to build some timing with new receivers Steven Johnson and Jacoby Jones, but that will have to be developed during practice time.
The Chargers defense had some lapses but quickly regrouped and played a pretty stellar game on defense. The team held the Cowboys to one rushing TD in the second quarter. Undrafted rookie Gus Johnson powered his way to a 5-yard TD for the Cowboys. That was the only bright spot for the team from Dallas. Owner Jerry Jones was spotted on the Cowboys sidelined frustrated with his team’s effort.
A pair of rookie linebackers really stood out in my mind. Denzel Perryman and Kyle Emanuel both showed excellent instincts and toughness. Both will be hard pressed for playing time initially, but they will both be key contributors to this seasons rush for a Championship. Perryman racked up five tackles and a pass defense while Emanuel had three tackles and a sack.
The linebacking corp for the Chargers seems ridiculously strong at the moment. Adding those two rookie linebackers to Donald Butler, Melvin Ingram, Jeremiah Attaochu, Manti Te’o and Kavell Conner give the Chargers a young, group of linebackers with a very high ceiling. It will be very exciting to see these men grow as players in the Chargers system.
Two Cowboy fumbles, one resulting in Danny Woodhead‘s TD rush, was the difference in the game. The Chargers manged not to turn the ball over and more often than not, that results in a win. The Chargers did not escape the game without injury as G Johnnie Troutman (right arm), LB Tourek Williams (right foot) and CB Chris Davis (concussion) all left the game and did not return. Each players status will be updated during the week.
Next Game Saturday August 22nd at Arizona Cardinals 7:00 pm PDT