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First Impressions of First Team Offense

Heading into the preseason opener, Philip Rivers cautioned how people always put too much stock in the first series.

"To me, the preseason is the most over-analyzed (due to the) 10 or however many plays (we run)," he said. In a real game, you're going to have 50 plays or more.  If these plays on Saturday are really good, that doesn't mean we're an awesome team yet.  If we're terrible, that doesn't mean we're not going to be awesome.  It gets overanalyzed because of the small sample size."

Short sample size or not, the lone drive by the Bolts' first team offense went as well as the team could have hoped, as the seven-play drive culminated with a 44-yard touchdown catch and run by Melvin Gordon to take a 7-3 lead.  Gordon did not have a touchdown over his rookie year, and also rushed the ball three times for 12 yards (4.0 yards per carry).

Determined to jump start their ground attack, the Chargers were committed to the run out of the gate.  They ran a number of two tight end sets as well as used fullback Derek Watt, running the ball on five straight plays.  After a penalty forced a 3rd-and-15, Rivers dropped back and fired a dime over the middle to Keenan Allen for 20 yards.  San Diego led the league in third down conversions with Ken Whisenhunt coordinating the offense in 2013, and was a perfect two-for-two on the drive.

On the next snap, Rivers fired quickly to Gordon in space, and the running back sprinted down the sideline.  As he neared the end line, he powered over a would-be tackler to get the touchdown. 

That was all the action the first team offense saw in the opener as Head Coach Mike McCoy made wholesale changes the next time the Bolts had the ball. Rivers finished his day 2-for-3 for 64 yards and a TD, good for a 149.3 passer rating.

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