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First Impressions of the First-Team Offense
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The first-team offense’s first drive was predicated on quickness and chunk plays.
The offense’s series started out with a handoff to Melvin Gordon, but on second down, Philip Rivers found a wide open Hunter Henry who gained 17 to move the chains. Henry walked away from the first-team’s performance feeling positive about what they did on the field.
“I felt good,” Henry said. “It was fun. It was fun personally going out there and getting to play. I got my first catch out of the way (and) it was nice to be out there in a really cool environment.”
Facing a 3rd-and-9 three plays later, Rivers found Travis Benjamin for another large chunk of yardage. This time, the pass was good for 15.
“I thought the first-team offense did a good job,” Benjamin said after the game. “Going out there as a unit to score a touchdown, that’s what we think we can do each time. The sky is the limit for us.”
Put in another third down situation at the Seattle 29, Melvin Gordon picked up two yards to keep the drive alive. Branden Oliver got reps with the first-team offense, and his rush for five and a 14-yard reception on second down brought the ball to the Seattle eight.
It was Rivers to his trusty tight end Antonio Gates to put the Bolts on the board first as number 85 caught a five-yard touchdown to make it 7-0, Chargers.
“You’re talking about countless hours and hard work and practicing,” Gates said of the first preseason score. “The anticipation of certain looks, not to mention the offensive line and the balance that we had throughout the first drive, it was great to get off to the right start.”
Overall, it was a strong first possession of the preseason for the offense. Philip Rivers finished 5-of-6 for 51 yards, one TD and 146.1 passer rating. He connected with four different targets, including Gates twice. Meanwhile, Gordon churned out 14 yards, including a powerful two-yard gain on 3rd-and-1.