The Seattle Seahawks came into San Diego to take on the Chargers with a chip on their shoulder. The Seahawks had lost to the Chargers in week 2 of the 2015 season, and the team is just six months removed from a heartbreaking loss to the Patriots in the Super Bowl. The Seahawks got a 60 yard field goal from Steven Hauschka with 16 seconds left in the ball game to win it.
The Chargers decided to rest Manti Te’o and Eric Weddle. Te’o is nursing a sore shoulder and Weddle has a sore neck. The defense, despite missing those two important cogs, played tough and held the Seahawks offense in check for most of the night. The Chargers special teams was victimized as rookie Tyler Lockett ran 67 yards for a second quarter TD. The special teams gave up another big return later in the game, but it is the preseason and bodies are in there that quite frankly will not be there week 1 of the regular season.
Russell Wilson was held to 56 yards passing and Marshawn Lynch only carried the ball two times for six yards. Jimmy Graham was held to two catches for 22 yards as the Chargers linebackers did a fantastic job containing the mammoth tight end. Not an easy task to say the least as Graham is a tough defensive match-up.
The Chargers had a little scare late in the second quarter as Philip Rivers got his hand caught up on a rushing defender and banged his finger up. Rivers reported that is wasn’t a big deal and he would have easily played if it were the regular season. Still a scare to Chargers fans as Rivers was pressured often by the Seahawks defense and took a couple of hit in the process. Rivers managed to go 13-19 on the night for 140 yards. Not too bad at all. Rivers looked very crisp and despite being sacked two times, was very much in control of the offense.
The Chargers wanted to give rookie Melvin Gordon plenty of touches and they succeed in that. Gordon finished with 16 total touches and for the most part was hit and miss. The rookie is still in a learning curve. He showed decent burst and a reluctance to go down, but he had trouble recognizing and hitting the hole. Gordon finished with 14 carries for 34 yards and two balls caught for seven yards. It was nice to see the Chargers give him the ball. The team needed to judge him against a stout defense like the Seahawks. Gordon after the game admitted the game is moving a little fast for him at the moment. He still clearly has some rookie jitters, and the Chargers hope he can gain some confidence next week against the 49ers.
Overall the first teams on both sides of the ball performed very well. Melvin Ingram was involved and active once again for the defense. As was Jason Verrett and Donald Butler. Verrett missed last weeks game against the Cardinals, but was a full go against the defending NFC Champions. Nick Dzunbar led the defense with six tackles and a sack. Kyle Emanuel also recorded a sack and Denzel Perryman had three tackles for the team.
Branden Oliver got the lone touchdown for the Chargers as he caught a 70 yard TD pass from Kellen Clemens in the third quarter. Danny Woodhead had an impressive night and he appears to be in full speed ready for the season. The offensive line had some issues, but Orlando Franklin, D.J. Fluker and company will only improve with more time together.
At the San Francisco 49ers Levi’s Stadium
Thursday September 3rd 7:00 PM PST