The Seattle Seahawks come into San Diego this Saturday night to take on the Chargers in week three of the 2015 NFL preseason. The Seahawks are presently 0-2 in the preseason but the team is one of the most formidable teams in the NFL. The San Diego Chargers are 2-0 after a last-minute 47-yard field goal from rookie kicker Josh Lambo to beat the Cardinals 22-19 last Saturday. The two teams played last season in Week 2 and the Chargers prevailed 30-21 in 120 degree temperatures on the field.
Philip Rivers will return under center after taking last week off in Phoenix. In the regular season meeting last season Rivers threw for 284 yards and three touchdowns. All three touchdowns were to Antonio Gates, as the tight end caught three touchdowns in a game for the first time in his brilliant career. The Seahawks were continually punished by air, but the Chargers struggled to move the ball at all on the ground against the Seahawks D-line.
The Chargers young defense has played well so far and it will be interesting to see this group play a more extended time together. Melvin Ingram is fresh off his 2 sack game last week in very limited time against the Cardinals offense. He is showing some great athleticism and could be in for a huge year for the Chargers.
What To Look For
Look for the Chargers to try to establish a running game early. Rookie Melvin Gordon should be in action and near 100 percent. Chargers fans will be excited to see him in action against a tough defense. Rivers will also probably play at least a series of two, perhaps as much as the complete first half. Week three of the preseason is generally a time for your starters to work together for longer periods of time.
Keep an eye on the linebacker battle as Denzel Perryman and Kyle Emanuel both have excelled in the first two preseason games. Manti Te’o and Donald Butler have been pushed by Perryman and Melvin Ingram and Jeremiah Attaochu have Emanuel breathing down their neck. The versatile young linebackers will give the defense a much-needed boost. Both Perryman and Emanueal are high energy and have a constant motor. Both are also ball hawks who seem to always be in the right place at the right time.
Jason Verrett should also return to game action after missing last weeks contest against the Cardinals. Having Brandon Flowers and Verrett on the field at the same time will be huge for the Bolts as they try to contain the Seahawks receivers. The kicking battle will also be something to keep an eye on as Nick Novak attempts to hold off the efforts of rookie kicker Josh Lambo.
The Seattle Seahawks come into town still bitter after losing Super Bowl XLIX on a last second interception by Russel Wilson. The team should be back to back Super Bowl Champions, but instead are a team on a mission. The team was slightly overhauled in the off-season as the mostly defensive minded Seahawks are now attempting to generate some potent passing offense.
Pro Bowl center Max Unger was dealt in the offseason to the New Orleans Saints for Jimmy Graham. The all world tight end has had a slight injury issue the past few seasons but should still have a lot left in the tank. At the age of 28, Graham is still young enough to blossom even more. It remains to be seen if playing in the Seahawks rush first offense will stunt his numbers.
What To Look For
If Marshawn Lynch plays he will play a very limited amount of snaps. Veteran backs like himself, need little to no time to get into game shape. The Seahawks also would not want to risk their bell cow running back to injury in a meaningless game. Back up’s Christine Michael and Robert Turbin will get plenty of work, as will rookie running backs Thomas Rawls and Rod Smith.
Clearing the way up the middle for the Seahawks is a thing of question. The battle to replace All-Pro center Max Unger is between Drew Nowak, Lemuel Jeanpierre and Patrick Lewis. The Seahawks were on a search for a replacement center in the off-season, but nothing came to fruition. The team reportedly took a long look at veteran centers Stephen Wisniewski and Chris Myers, but ultimately stood pat with whom they had on the roster. Nowak appears to have won the battle and there are even rumors that Patrick Lewis could be cut. This battle is definitely worth keeping an eye on as the Seahawks will undoubtedly attempt to run the ball.
The Seahawks new toy on offense Jimmy Graham should be a full go for the game. It will be interesting to see if the Chargers use Eric Weddle to cover the huge tight end or they try a combination of line backers. Denzel Perryman or Kyle Emanuel could get a shot or two on coverage against the all world tight end, just to see what each linebacker has. Graham is a matchup nightmare and teamed with Marshawn Lynch should be a nice combination for the Seahawks this season.
Where: Qualcomm Stadium San Diego, California
When: Saturday August 29th, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM PT