AFC West: Dwigth Freeney

Chargers bounce back well

August, 25, 2013
8/25/13
12:35
PM ET
Random thoughts on the San Diego Chargers’ 24-7 win at Arizona on Saturday night:
  • The Chargers bounced back and played a strong game in the most important one of the preseason. San Diego was sloppy last week in Chicago. But Mike McCoy’s team showed nice improvement at Arizona.
  • Quarterback Philip Rivers’ numbers were not great. He was 10-of-18 passing for 71 yards and he was intercepted once. But the Chargers moved the ball well under Rivers’ guidance.
  • Running back Ryan Mathews continued his strong preseason as he had 57 yards on 14 carries. Mathews did fumble (the Chargers ended up scoring on the play) once. He needs to fix that part of his game.
  • San Diego’s offensive line appeared to be much improved from the Chicago game. Arizona had just one sack. That is a positive development. Rivers needs protection.
  • San Diego was strong defensively. Defensive end Dwight Freeney was very active. At 33, he has shown this preseason that he still has something left in the tank.
  • After being awful on special teams in the first two preseason games, San Diego was better Saturday. They blocked a punt and a field goal.
  • Second-year tight end Ladarius Green had a 57-yard catch. He continued to show he may be ready to be a contributor this season.
  • Second-year safety Brandon Taylor had five tackles and looked good. It was his first action since tearing his ACL late last season. The team has high hopes for him.
Kansas City linebacker Justin Houston checks in at No. 87 and San Diego pass-rusher Dwight Freeney comes in at No. 90 on ESPN.com’s top 100 defensive players list.

These are two players at different ends of their careers. Houston is establishing himself as one of the better young pass-rushers and Freeney, in his first season in San Diego, is hoping to show his patented pass-rush burst for another year or two.

In other AFC West notes:

U-T San Diego reports Chargers rookie linebacker Manti Te'o is back in a walking boot. Te'o, who was hurt Aug. 8 against Seattle, reportedly was out of the boot Monday. He was supposed to be out for a week. Now, it looks like he will have a difficult time playing Saturday at Arizona. That is a blow since Te’o is set to start in the regular season and he needs the preseason work.

Oakland safety Charles Woodson stuck up for former teammate Aaron Rodgers. Former Green Bay receivers Greg Jennings and Donald Driver have been critical of Rodgers recently. Woodson said Rodgers was the catalyst of the Packers.

Oakland’s starting defensive line practiced together Tuesday for the first time this camp after defensive tackle Pat Sims returned after missing extensive time and fellow defensive tackle Vance Walker returned to practice Monday.

Oakland has signed tackle Tony Hills. He was cut by Buffalo on Sunday. The Raiders need bodies at the position. Still, it is unlikely Hills can be a factor in the regular season. The Raiders waived injured kicker Eddy Carmona. With Sebastian Janikowski present, Carmona was always on borrowed time in Oakland.

Former Oakland business leader Amy Trask has joined CBSSports.com. She left the Raiders in May.

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