Observation Deck: San Diego Chargers
August, 16, 2014
By Eric D. Williams | ESPN.com
The San Diego Chargers looked overmatched playing against the defending Super Bowl champs. With quarterback Russell Wilson and most of Seattle's starting offense playing the majority of the first half, the Seahawks scored on the first four drives in an emphatic, 41-14 win Friday night at CenturyLink Field. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers only played in the first drive, but several starters on both sides of the ball for the Chargers remained in the game until well into the second quarter. Scheme-wise San Diego coach Mike McCoy played things close to the vest, with the two teams playing a month from now during the regular season in the Chargers' home opener on Sept. 14 at Qualcomm Stadium. However, McCoy could not have been pleased with the overall performance and effort by his team in San Diego's first road contest of 2014. Here are some other thoughts on the Chargers' first preseason game of the year:
- Brandon Flowers made his first appearance in a game for the Chargers. He was flagged for a pass interference call against Doug Baldwin in the first quarter that led to a touchdown. The veteran cornerback finished without a tackle or a pass breakup in limited snaps during the first quarter.
- Defensively, the Chargers once again struggled to defend the run for a second straight game. The Seahawks rushed for 243 yards, averaging 6.6 yards per carry. Seattle quarterbacks rushed for four touchdowns against San Diego's defense, which struggled again with making tackles in the open field. The Chargers did not force Seattle's offense to punt all game.
- A week after allowing Brandon Weeden to finish with a 111.6 passer rating, Wilson finished 11-of-13 for 121 yards against San Diego's defense. Wilson also ran for 31 yards, including 5- and 1-yard touchdown runs. Wilson finished with a 105.4 passer rating.
- Running back Branden Oliver and receiver Dontrelle Inman, two players who shined against Dallas last week, struggled against the Seahawks. Oliver bobbled a kickoff during the second half. Oliver also brought a kickoff out of the end zone and failed to make it back to the 20-yard line. Inman dropped a catchable ball on a sideline route that would have been good enough for a first down.
- Third-round draft selection offensive lineman Chris Watt got his first game action for the Chargers. He played both right guard and center for the Chargers. Watt had a couple of bad snaps, but he appeared solid in run blocking and pass protection for San Diego's quarterbacks.
- San Diego backup quarterback Kellen Clemens played well for a second straight game in place of Rivers. Clemens finished 14-of-21 for 149 yards and two touchdowns. Clemens was sacked three times and finished with a 118.9 passer rating.
- On the injury front, defensive end Sean Lissemore (ankle) and safety Jahleel Addae (hamstring) suffered injuries during the game and did not return. Running back Ryan Mathews (rest), outside linebacker Dwight Freeney (rest), receiver Vincent Brown (foot), cornerback Jason Verrett (shoulder), defensive end Lawrence Guy (shoulder) and Damik Scafe (unknown) did not play.