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Chargers - Cowboys In-Game Report
The Chargers’ stellar night kept rolling into the fourth.
Nick Novak hit a 44-yard field goal for a 27-7 lead with 13:36 remaining in the game.
Dustin Vaughan took over for Caleb Hanie under center during the fourth, but didn’t get much going for the Cowboys until halfway through the quarter. Starting at their own 24-yard line, Vaughan and the Cowboys’ drive went 13 plays to the San Diego 3-yard line but ended on a fourth down sack by rookie linebacker Colton Underwood.
Underwood brought Vaughan down for a loss of 15-yards forcing the turnover on downs and the Chargers ran the clock in victory formation for the 27-7 win.
The Chargers will face the Seahawks next Friday in Seattle.
With a 10-7 lead entering the third, the Bolts received the kickoff but their drive ended in a three-and-out.
Clemens continued his run as the second-string quarterback and completed a 70-yard catch and run pass to wide receiver Dontrelle Inman.
Hanie didn’t have much luck with his second series after linebacker Thomas Keiser came in for the strip sack, which was recovered by defensive end Damik Scafe at the Dallas seven-yard line.
After going 5-for-5 for 134-yards, one touchdown and a perfect 158.3 passer rating, Clemens’ action ended for the night and Brad Sorensen entered at QB for the Bolts. The team took a 24-7 lead with 7:30 remaining in the third after a pair of handoffs, one for a touchdown, to running back Kerwynn Williams.
Sorensen finished the third quarter 3-for-3 for 31-yards and the Bolts kept their 24-7 lead entering the fourth.
After driving down field from the San Diego 46, the first score of the game came 11:42 into the second quarter on a four-yard pass from Brandon Weeden to wide receiver James Hanna. Dan Bailey’s extra point was good and the Cowboys led 7-0.
Quarterback Kellen Clemens started the second series for the Chargers. Strong running by free agent acquisition Donald Brown and undrafted rookie Branden Oliver moved San Diego to the Dallas 47. A familiar sight in training camp, Kellen Clemens completed a pass to rookie wide receiver Tevin Reese for a gain of 17 giving the Bolts a 1st-and-10 from the Dallas 24. But it was more of that power run-game that led the Chargers to their first score. After a gain of eight-yards from Brown, Oliver took the handoff and ran 16-yards for the touchdown. Nick Novak’s XP was good and the game was tied at 7-7 with 6:09 remaining in the second.
The Cowboys went three-and-out for their third series after their drive stalled on a 3rddown incomplete pass that was batted down by safety Jahleel Addae.
The Bolts’ third series saw more strong running from Oliver but the drive stalled at the Dallas 3. With 1:42 remaining in the half, the team settled for a 24-yard field goal from Novak giving the Chargers a 10-7 lead that carried into halftime.
The Chargers won the coin toss and deferred to the second half.
With Tony Romo out, quarterback Brandon Weeden got the start for the first preseason game. After a series of positive runs to move the chains, from running back Joseph Randle, an offensive pass interference penalty backed the Cowboys up 10 yards to the San Diego 48. On 2nd-and-28, Weeden scrambled up the middle for a gain of 10-yards but was tackled by safety Marcus Gilchrist. On 3rd-and-18, Weeden forced to throw the ball away after serious pressure by outside linebacker Melvin Ingram.
After a short punt, the Chargers started at their own 17-yard line. The team started their first series going no-huddle. After a series of strong runs by running back Ryan Mathews and a pass from Rivers to LaDarius Green for six, Rivers tossed a pass to running back Danny Woodhead who took the ball 25-yards to the Dallas 40. On a 3rd-and-5, Rivers scrambled to his right and hit Green for a gain for 20-yards to the Dallas 15. Coming off a defensive holding call, the Bolts were knocking on the red zone but a goal-line fumble by Mathews ended the drive. Dallas recovered the fumble for a touchback and moved the chains up to the San Diego 46.
Dallas starts the second from the Chargers 46-yard line.
It’s time to get back to football!
The San Diego Chargers kick start the 2014 season against the Dallas Cowboys tonight at Qualcomm Stadium. The teams have met 14 times in the preseason with the series tied at 7-7.
So what can you look forward to from the Bolts? Coming off a career-year completing 69.5% of his passes, quarterback Philip Rivers looks to take his game to the next level under new Offensive Coordinator Frank Reich. Offensively, the Chargers are stacked. Keenan Allen, Rivers’ top target from a year ago, has set his sights even higher in his second season. He’ll be joined by Malcom Floyd, who’ll be welcomed back to the Q with open arms for the first time since last September. A few other new Chargers on offense who will make their Q debut are quarterback Kellen Clemens, running back Donald Brown, and tight end David Johnson.
The competition on defense has been outstanding all camp long, particularly at cornerback and linebacker. It should be particularly interesting to see who rises to the occasion in the first preseason game to claim significant playing time come the regular season, and in some cases, secure a spot on the active 53-man roster. One player to pay attention to is second round pick Jerry Attaochu, who has enjoyed a strong training camp thus far.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will most likely sit out tonight as he recovers from offseason back surgery. Starting in place of Romo is former Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden, who signed a two-year contract with Dallas in March. Weeden completed his two-season stint with the Browns with 5,116 yards and 23 touchdowns. Much of Dallas’ offense remains the same including playmakers tight end Jason Witten and wide receiver Dez Bryant who finished 2013 with 93 receptions for 1,233-yards and 13 touchdowns. Defense is a much different story. With the departure of DeMarcus Ware to the Broncos, the Cowboys also lost linebacker Sean Lee to a torn ACL for the season and cornerback Morris Claiborne has battled knee soreness during training camp.
Kickoff is set for 7:00p.m. PT.