File photo by Sam Hodgson
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers
In arguably the least-important game of the games that don’t count, the Chargers were blown out by the Seattle Seahawks Thursday night at Qualcomm Stadium. Perhaps the best way to describe the lopsided 31-10 loss in front of an announced crowd of 54,709 is “easily forgettable.”
The exhibition game marked the debut of several new San Diego coaches and players, including first-time head coach Mike McCoy, who got a workout in before the players took the field. Hours before kickoff, the 41-year-old McCoy was spotted by the U-T’s Kevin Acee running stadium stairs.
McCoy’s first-stringers got off to a running start of their own. On the game’s first possession, quarterback Philip Rivers marched the San Diego offense down the field on a 13-play, 74-yard drive that resulted in a 28-yard field goal. The revamped offensive line kept Rivers clean and upright on his only series of the night. The NFL.com highlight package spotlights first-round pick D.J. Fluker stonewalling Seattle’s Red Bryant in pass protection.
Running back Ryan Mathews looked good on the drive as well, rolling up 19 yards on three carries. Mathews soared over the Seahawks defense to pick up a first down on a fourth-and-inches to keep the drive alive.
The highlight reel wasn’t as flattering to rookie linebacker Manti Te’o, who was shown getting knocked backward on a block by Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson. Te’o did not make a tackle in his two defensive series.
As a side note, it seems many of us have been mispronouncing the former Notre Dame star’s name. According to the U-T’s Acee again, Chargers staff clarified the correct articulation of the Polynesian surname as TEH-oh, not TAY-oh.
Veteran defensive end Dwight Freeney made a much bigger impression than his rookie counterpart in his first game in a Chargers uniform. Though he also finished without any stats in the scoresheet, Freeney’s bull-rush collapsed Seattle’s pass protection, forcing quarterback Russell Wilson to pick up yards on the run.
The starting defense looked good overall. The Chargers held Seattle’s starters scoreless in their first two possessions, including a three-and-out on the first series.
When the starters went to their respective sidelines, San Diego’s depth was shown to be a potential concern. The Chargers second- and third-string defenses made Seattle backup QB Brady Quinn look adequate, and re-signed Tarvaris Jackson look like a star. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll let Jackson take shots downfield, and he converted eight of nine passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns against San Diego’s deep reserves.
Chargers second-string (for now) quarterback Charlie Whitehurst looked terrible. He was not helped at all by a porous backup offensive line that allowed Seattle’s defense to record three sacks and multiple hurries. The bearded veteran with the flowing mane that internet dwellers have dubbed Clipboard Jesus finished with 59 yards on seven of 15 passing, with two interceptions and no touchdowns.
Rookie quarterback Brad Sorensen looked much better, and may have a legit shot at second-string clipboard duty behind Rivers. The seventh-round pick out of Southern Utah looked poised and confident, completing passes of 34, 24 and 21 yards, the latter to tight end LaDarius Green for the Chargers only touchdown of the evening. Sorensen finished with 84 yards on seven of 10 converted passes.
Bolts from the Blue editor and VOSD contributor John Gennaro shared a few post-game notes. His takeaway: “None of this matters.”
The Bolts will regroup for a trip to Chicago in their second preseason game, against the Bears next Thursday, Aug. 15 at 5 p.m. on ESPN.
Value investigative reporting? Support it. Donate Now.
Show 2 comments