Rivers throws two picks in NFL debut

SAN DIEGO -- The Philip Rivers era in San Diego got off to a
rousing start.

It didn't last long.

Rivers, the fourth overall pick in this year's NFL draft who
ended his holdout earlier this week, completed his first three
passes for 72 yards against Seattle on Friday night, drawing loud
cheers from the crowd of 35,536 at Qualcomm Stadium.

But the rookie misfired on his next seven throws, two of which
were intercepted, in the Seahawks' 26-20 exhibition victory over
the Chargers.

"What Philip is finding is that it is a lot faster out here
than what he is accustomed to," Chargers coach Marty
Schottenheimer said.

"Certainly I figured out that you can't make too many things
happen too quickly," Rivers said. "I'm not necessarily pleased
with how I performed, but I'm glad I put it behind me and got in to
play. The more and more I play, the more enthusiasm you'll see."

Rivers said he hoped to be the starting quarterback on opening

"Yes, that's what I said in May, and that is what I said two
days ago," he said. "I think that is the only way you can think
about it. If I hit some bumps, I have to understand that is part of
it and you have to correct it."

Matt Hasselbeck completed 18 of 28 passes for 190 yards and one
touchdown, and Shaun Alexander gained 62 yards on 15 carries to
lead the Seahawks (2-1).

"It's a good feeling -- we needed that win," Hasselbeck said.

The Seahawks were coming off a 19-3 loss to the Denver Broncos.

"It was exciting to see Matt throwing and the boys catching the
balls and making plays," Alexander said. "That's what it takes
for us to be a powerful offense, and we are getting there. We got
into a little rhythm in the first half."

Rivers entered early in the second quarter with Seattle leading
10-0, and quickly moved the Chargers (1-2) from their 9-yard line
to the Seattle 14.

For an instant, his fourth pass appeared to be good for a
touchdown, but Joshua Norman couldn't hang on in the end zone.

That was just the beginning of Rivers' tough times.

He was sacked by Rocky Bernard, setting up a 39-yard field goal
attempt by Mackenzie Hoambrecker. Anthony Simmons broke through to
block the kick, pick it up and run 67 yards for a touchdown.

Rivers' sixth pass was intercepted by Marcus Trufant, who
returned it 10 yards to the San Diego 25. Three plays later,
Alexander ran 13 yards for a TD to make it 23-0.

Rivers also was intercepted by Ken Hamlin later in the second
quarter in Seattle territory, but the Seahawks were unable to take

The Chargers were booed off the field at halftime.

Rivers, the second-leading passer in NCAA history at North
Carolina State, wound up going 5-of-14 for 79 yards with the two
interceptions. The Chargers acquired Rivers in a draft-day trade
that sent Eli Manning to the New York Giants.

San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson played briefly in his preseason
debut, gaining eight yards on two carries and catching one pass for
12 yards.

Drew Brees, who completed 24 of 35 passes for 328 yards with one
interception in the first two preseason games, was picked off by
Ken Lucas on the first play of this game.

Lucas returned the interception 44 yards for a touchdown, but an
illegal block nullified the score. However, the Seahawks needed
only three plays to move 15 yards, scoring on Hasselbeck's 4-yard
pass to Darrell Jackson.

Josh Brown's 52-yard field goal late in the first quarter gave
the Seahawks a 10-0 lead.

San Diego scored its first points early in the third quarter
when Terrence Kiel intercepted Hasselbeck's last pass of the game
and returned it 63 yards for a touchdown. Brown kicked a 50-yard
field goal later in the period to extend the Seahawks' lead to

Doug Flutie threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Brock Edwards in
the opening minute of the fourth quarter to cut Seattle's lead to
26-13, and the Chargers drew within six points on Wes Welker's
81-yard punt return with 10:02 remaining.

The Chargers reached the Seattle 26-yard line with four minutes
left before Flutie fumbled and Seattle's Walter Bernard recovered.
The 41-year-old Flutie, making his preseason debut, completed 8 of
12 passes for 99 yards.

Game notes
Rivers was called for intentional grounding on the first
play of his second series. Two plays later, he was sacked by
Simmons for a 9-yard loss. ... The Seahawks moved to the San Diego
9-yard line after Hamlin's interception, but Hasselbeck fumbled
after being sacked by Shaun Phillips, with San Diego's Stephen
Cooper recovering. ... Seattle drove 56 yards to the San Diego
8-yard line on its third possession, but Jamal Williams and
DeQuincy Scott stopped Alexander for no gain on fourth-and-1.
Rivers then entered the game for the first time. ... Brees played
the first quarter, completing 2 of 5 passes for 33 yards. ...
Seattle's Trent Dilfer, making his first preseason appearance,
completed 9 of 16 passes for 79 yards.


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