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Chargers Drop Preseason Opener to Seahawks
The Mike McCoy era is underway, and while the 31-10 end result was not what the team wanted, there were enough glimpses, particularly from the starters, to be encouraged by the 2013 Chargers.
The Chargers first-string offense played only one series, but they made the most of it by piecing together a 13-play, 74-yard drive that ended with a Nick Novak 28-yard field goal. Philip Rivers finished his lone series completing 5-of-6 for 45 yards, while Ryan Mathews ran for 19 yards on three carries. Mathews provided one of the highlights of the day, soaring for a nine-yard gain on fourth-and-inches. The Chargers starting defense forced a punt and looked strong with Dwight Freeney and Kendall Reyes getting pressure on Russell Wilson. At the end of the first quarter the score remained 3-0.
Defense dominated most of the second quarter before the Seahawks got good field position following a Charlie Whitehurst interception. Three plays later, Brady Quinn found Jermaine Kearse in the back of the end zone for an 11-yard score and 7-3 advantage. The Chargers marched the ball down the field before a diving Keenan Allen tipped the ball in the air, landing in the arms of Chris Maragos. Steven Hauschka attempted a 61-yard field goal but it bounced off the crossbar and the lead remained 7-3 heading into the half.
After both teams punted to start the third quarter, a 46-yard return by Seattle to the Chargers 28-yard line gave the Seahawks great field position. However, the Chargers defense proved stout, limiting the visitors to a field goal and a 10-3 advantage. Following a three-and-out, Seattle extended the lead to 17-3 on a Spencer Ware six-yard touchdown run.
On the very first play of the fourth-quarter, the Seahawks took a commanding 24-3 lead on a deep touchdown pass to Stephen Williams. Seventh-round draft choice Brad Sorensen showed great poise and leadership, driving the Bolts back down the field, ending the series with a 21-yard touchdown strike to Ladarius Green. The score brought the Bolts within two scores, 24-10. However, the Seahawks marched right back down the field. They extended their lead to 31-10 on a Derrick Coleman touchdown reception, which closed out the scoring on the day. Read
The Bolts were up 3-0 and driving in Seattle territory when Byron Maxwell jumped in front of Robert Meachem to snare an interception. Maxwell’s return set the Seahawks up at the Chargers’ 14 yard line and the away team would go on to score 24 straight points to pull away.
It was Over When…
San Diego was within two touchdowns entering the fourth quarter, but on the very first play Tarvaris Jackson hit a streaking Stephen Williams down the left sideline for a 42-yard touchdown. The score extended the Seahawks lead to 24-3 and provided the insurance they needed as they went on to victory.
Play of the Game
Mike McCoy decided to go for it on 4th-and-inches at the Seahawks 29-yard line, and Ryan Mathews rewarded his head coach’s faith in him. The fourth-year rusher soared high in the air over the line of scrimmage for a nine-yard gain much to the delight of the home crowd.
Stat of the Game
Winning the toss, the Chargers decided to receive and the offense rolled out an impressive drive. They went 74 yards on 13 plays over 7:29, establishing an up-tempo pace and balanced attack.
“This is all a process. You have to get the game plan together and put in game situations, so you have to learn even if you’re only out there for a little bit. It’s definitely a learning experience and you have to get the most out of those plays whether it’s only a few or a lot.” – Linebacker Dwight Freeney
“We had good balance and we got into a nice rhythm. We look forward to more of that. Whatever coach calls we don’t care if it’s a run or a pass; we’re going to execute it and keep the tempo high.” – Center Nick Hardwick
“(I want) to be the best middle linebacker I can be and just try and do whatever it takes to win. That’s what I’m going to do every day.” – Linebacker Manti Te’o
“The offensive line is doing great and moving guys out of the way. They’re clicking on all cylinders and Philip is playing great and doing a great job. Antonio and the receivers are doing a great job blocking. It’s fun and they’re doing the ugly work buy they are working hard.” – Running Back Ryan Mathews
Odds and Ends
Fozzy Whittaker led all rushers with 14 carries for 38 yards. Ryan Mathews finished with three carries for 19 yards, good for a 6.3 yard-per-carry average.
The Chargers totaled 17 first downs, with three coming on the ground, nine through the air and five via penalty.
San Diego committed five penalties for 49 yards.
The Bolts won the time of possession battle, controlling the ball for 32:51. Read