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Scouting Report: Chargers at 49ers
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The Los Angeles Chargers end preseason play Thursday night with their annual game against the San Francisco 49ers. Kickoff from Levi’s Stadium is at 7:00 p.m. PST.
A Look Back At Last Week
The Bolts got off to a fast start, racing to a 21-0 first quarter lead thanks to the play of their starters on their way to a 21-19 win over the Rams. Philip Rivers earned a perfect 158.3 passer rating, completing all six passes for 85 yards and one touchdown. Travis Benjamin was on the receiving end of a 45-yard bomb for a TD, while Keenan Allen caught all five balls thrown his way for 45 yards. On defense, Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram teamed up for a highlight reel play early in the first quarter. Number 99 shot out of a cannon off the snap, knocking the ball out of Jared Goff’s hand. Ingram scooped it up and rumbled 76-yards to pay dirt. Meanwhile, Jason Verrett announced his return to action with authority, recording an interception in his first game since Week 4 of the 2016 season.
What to Watch For…
On Offense for the Chargers
Cardale Jones is expected to see his most extensive action yet as he aims to cement a spot on the 53-man roster. The former Ohio State star has completed 18 of 37 passes for 185 yards through the air, with an additional 25 rushing yards coming on three carries. Meanwhile, a pair of young wideouts look to make their case in Jamaal Jones and Geremy Davis. Along with TE Sean Culkin and WR Keenan Allen, both men are tied for the team lead with six catches this preseason. Jones’ six snares have gone for 54 yards while Davis’ have gone for 50.
On Offense for the 49ers
CJ Beathard, the grandson of former Chargers GM and current finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Bobby Beathard, will be one of four QBs under center for the home team. The rookie out of Iowa has turned heads throughout the preseason, completing 21 of 36 passes for 370 yards and four TDs. Meanwhile, Raheem Mostert has been their most effective running back, carrying the ball 19 times for 115 yards (6.1 ypc) and one TD.
On Defense for the Chargers
Head Coach Anthony Lynn said the competition in the secondary will be front and center Thursday night as jobs are on the line at both cornerback and safety. Meanwhile, expect Korey Toomer and Nick Dzubnar to get a closer look as the team looks to settle on a replacement for Denzel Perryman, who will miss time early in the regular season with an ankle injury.
On Defense for the 49ers
San Francisco is undergoing a youth movement on defense, parting ways with former All-Pro and Pro Bowl linebacker Ahmad Brooks last week. The team is counting heavily on a pair of first round draft picks in third overall selection Solomon Thomas and 31st overall pick Reuben Foster.
The Chargers have faced the 49ers more than any other team in the preseason, with San Francisco owning a 25-20 advantage. The all-time series is tied 7-7 in the regular season.
By the Numbers
In 2016, the Chargers ranked 14th in total offense (356.8 yards per game), eighth in passing (262.4 ypg), 26th in rushing (94.4 ypg) and ninth in points (25.6). The 49ers ranked 31st total offense (308.1 ypg), 32nd in passing (181.9 ypg), fourth in rushing (126.2 ypg) and 27th in points (19.3).
Defensively, the Bolts ranked 16th in total defense (347.1 ypg), 20th in passing (249.2 ypg), 10th in rushing (97.9 ypg) and 29th in points allowed (26.4). San Francisco ranked 32nd in total defense (406.4 ypg), 14th in passing (240.5 ypg), 32nd in rushing (165.9 ypg) and 32nd in points allowed (30.0).
Noteworthy vs. the 49ers
Philip Rivers has faced the 49ers three times in his career and is a perfect 3-0. In the three contests, Rivers is 81 of 118 for 963 yards and nine touchdowns to only three interceptions. In his last outing, in the 38-35 overtime victory in 2014, Rivers threw for four touchdowns on 33 of 54 passing and 356 yards. In 2010 Rivers threw three touchdowns with no interceptions and 273 yards in an efficient 19-for-25 passing game.
Antonio Gates has hauled in 12 catches for 170 yards and three touchdowns in two games against San Francisco. In the 2014 contest, Gates caught seven passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns.
Brandon Mebane has played the 49ers 15 times during the regular season. Mebane tallied seven tackles, including five solo stops in the Dec. 2011 game. The defensive tackle recorded half a sack and two tackles for loss in a win in Dec. 2009.
Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn, Offensive Line Coach Pat Meyer and Defensive Assistant D’Anton Lynn coached 49ers WR Marquise Goodwin in Buffalo (2015-16).
Anthony Lynn coached running backs for the Jets from 2011-14 while 49ers WR Jeremy Kerley was on the team.
Chargers Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley coached with San Francisco Defensive Coordinator Robert Saleh in Seattle (2011-12) and Jacksonville (2014-16).
Los Angeles Linebackers Coach Richard Smith coached with 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan (2015-16), WRs Coach Matt LaFleur (2015-16), Quarterbacks Coach Rich Scangarello (2015) and Running Backs Coach Robert Tuner Jr. (2015-16) in Atlanta.
Richard Smith coached in Houston with Saleh in 2005.
Chargers WR Travis Benjamin played in Cleveland under Shanahan (2014), 49ers Assistant Head Coach Jon Embree (2013), Offensive Assistant TC McCartney (2014) and Run Game Specialist Mike McDaniel (2014), and was Browns teammates with 49ers QB Brian Hoyer (2013-14), RB Raheem Mostert (2015) and CB K’waun Williams (2014-15).
Mebane, Okung, and Chargers CB Trovon Reed played with 49ers LB Brock Coyle and T Garry Gilliam in Seattle.
Hoyer (2012) and San Francisco RB Tim Hightower (2009-10) played for the Cardinals while Chargers Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt was Arizona’s head coach and Tight Ends Coach John McNulty was the wide receivers coach.
Smith (2009-10) was the position coach in Denver for 49ers DE Elvis Dumervil from 2009-10.
Chargers Defensive Backs Coach Ron Milus (2011-12) coached for the Broncos while Dumervil was with the team.
Meyer and Chargers Assistant Defensive Backs Coach Chris Harris coached for the Bears while 49ers K Robbie Gould played in Chicago.
Chargers C Matt Slauson and Gould were Bears teammates from 2013-15.
Los Angeles T Joe Barksdale (2013-14) and QB Kellen Clemens (2013) were teammates with San Francisco LB Ray-Ray Armstrong in St. Louis.
Barksdale played in Oakland while 49ers Linebackers Coach Johnny Holland was a coach in 2012.
Slauson (2010-12) and Chargers TE Jeff Cumberland (2011-15) played for the Jets with San Francisco WR Jeremy Kerley.
In 2011, Los Angeles QB Kellen Clemens played for Houston with San Francisco T Earl Mitchell and while Offensive Line Coach John Benton was on staff.
Chargers Quality Control-Offense Dan Shamash coached with Saleh (2014-16) and Benton (2016) in Jacksonville.
Shamash coached defensive backs with 49ers Defensive Backs Coach Jeff Hafley in Tampa Bay (2012-13).
McNulty and Jeff Hafley coached together for the Buccaneers in 2013.
Chargers LB Chris McCain played in Miami while 49ers Offensive Line Coach Jon Benton was a coach (2014-15).
Los Angeles RB Kenjon Barner played for 49ers Assistant Special Teams Coach Michael Clay while in Philadelphia from 2014-15.
Chargers G Chris Hairston (2013-14) and Chargers QB Cardale Jones (2016) played with Goodwin in Buffalo.
Head Coach Anthony Lynn played for San Francisco for two seasons (1995-96).
Special Teams Coordinator-Assistant Head Coach George Stewart was San Francisco’s special teams coordinator (1996-99) and coached wide receivers (2000-02).
Linebackers Coach Richard Smith held the same position for the 49ers from 1995-96.
Chargers WR Isaiah Burse is from Modesto, Calif. Los Angeles G Kenny Wiggins is from Elk Grove, Calif.
San Francisco QB Matt Barkley is from Newport Beach, Calif. 49ers WR Victor Bolden Jr. is from Fontana, Calif. San Francisco RB Tim Hightower is from Santa Ana, Calif.
KABC-TV – Spero Dedes (play-by-play), Dan Fouts (analyst) and Alex Flanagan (sideline)
KFI-AM 640 – Matt “Money” Smith (play-by-play), Nick Hardwick (analyst) and Shannon Farren (sideline)
Spanish Radio: KFWB – AM 980 - Jorge Villanueva (play-by-play) and Tony Alvarez (analyst)
Chargers radio broadcasts throughout the season will be able to be heard across 11 radio stations from Southern California to Nevada. Fans can listen in English on KGB-FM and KLSD AM (San Diego), KNWZ-AM (Palm Springs), KALZ-AM (Fresno), KBFP-AM (Bakersfield), KNWH-FM (Yucca Valley), KRLV-FM (Las Vegas), KRAK-AM (Victorville/Hesperia), KATY-FM (San Bernardino) and KPLY-AM (Reno). Spanish broadcasts can be heard on XHFG-FM (San Diego).