The San Diego Chargers fell to 1-2 on the preseason after dropping a 23-10 decision to the Minnesota Vikings. Despite the loss, the Bolts' first-team red zone defense showed promise as did Melvin Gordon, who secured his second touchdown of the preseason.
Stat of the Game:
After only notching 46 rushing yards last week, the Bolts offense improved to 100 yards on the day against the Vikings.
Play of the Game:
On 1st-and-10 from the Minnesota 39, Melvin Gordon took a handoff from Philip Rivers and rushed up the middle into an open field for a 39-yard touchdown. The score was Gordon's second of the preseason.
While San Diego had momentum after Josh Lambo gave them a 10-6 with 2:28 remaining in the first half, , Minnesota recaptured the lead for good when Teddy Bridgewater lobbed a deep pass over the middle to tight end Kyle Rudolph. Although their two-point conversion attempt failed, the Vikings took a 12-10 lead heading into the half and the Chargers never scored again in the game.
It Was Over When:
In the fourth quarter, Chargers QB Mike Bercovici's pass intended for Torrence Allen was picked off by Vikings CB Jayron Kearse. Ultimately, the pick ended up in points for the home team as on Minnesota's ensuing drive, the Vikings drove down to the San Diego five-yard line where Blair Walsh kicked his team to a 23-10 lead which San Diego could not recover from.
"When you come on the road, there are certain things you've got to do. You can't turn the ball over. You can't have penalties (and) you can't give up big plays defensively. We got off to a slow start defensively, but the great thing during the game for the defense was the red area defense." – Head Coach Mike McCoy
"As a defender, the main focus is to not let (the offense) get into the end zone so if they get close, it is still our goal to not let them score. They are already in the red zone so the most they can get is three. That is how defenses think (to) not even let them get down there where they can get that is the best situation." – DE Darius Philon
"It's always good when you can be explosive out there for the offense. Credit to those guys for helping me out. It's not just me, obviously I need help doing it. But it's always great when you can go out there and make explosive plays." – RB Melvin Gordon
"Injuries can happen and (Branden Oliver) works about as hard as anyone and it's unfortunate. He's what you see. Obviously takes care of himself great. He's in early and detail-oriented with game plans…It just sucks that it happened to him." – RB Danny Woodhead
Odds and Ends
The Vikings outgained the Chargers in total yardage, 326 to 286. They held advantages in both rushing (122 to 100) and passing (204 to 186).
Tyrell Williams led all receivers in receptions (3) for 36 yards. Running back Danny Woodhead had the longest reception of the day good for 25 yards.
Dexter McCoil led the defense with 10 total tackles. Ben Gardner and Nick Dzubnar both notched four..
Four Bolts secured sacks including Darius Philon, Chuka Ndulue, Corey Liuget and Damion Square. The four sacks were good for a total loss of 33 yards.
Melvin Gordon had a 2016 preseason high 51 rushing yards on the day.
Today's captains were Joe Barksdale, Nick Dzubnar, Dontrelle Inman, Brandon Flowers and Corey Liuget.
Inactives for the Chargers include Antonio Gates, Brandon Mebane, Jatavis Brown, Jahleel Addae and D.J. Fluker.
The Chargers take on the Minnesota Vikings for preseason game three at US Bank Stadium.