The San Diego Chargers close out the preseason Thursday night when they host the San Francisco 49ers at Qualcomm Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:00pm
What to Watch For…
On Offense for the Chargers
Competition for the running back spot behind Melvin Gordon and Danny Woodhead will take center stage following Branden Oliver’s season-ending Achilles injury. Younger players such as Hunter Henry and Tyrell Williams are using the final tune-up before the regular season to cement their roles heading into Week 1. Williams leads the Chargers with seven receptions this preseason.
On Offense for the 49ers
The starting quarterback job appears up for grabs as Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick look to stake their claim for it against the Bolts. WR Jeremy Kerley will make his 49ers debut after being acquired earlier this week via a trade with the Detroit Lions. On the ground, Mike Davis has paced the offense with 111 rushing yards.
On Defense for the Chargers
Defensive Coordinator John Pagano’s unit will be in for a test against San Francisco Head Coach Chip Kelly’s high-octane offense. The starting defense has not allowed a touchdown all preseason long, and look to continue that trend. In the backend, Safety Dexter McCoil leads the Bolts with 20 tackles as well as one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
On Defense for the 49ers
Former Oregon Ducks’ defensive linemen Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner lead a new-look 49ers’ defense into the Q. OLB Marcus Rush has been a handful this preseason, leading San Francisco with 4.0 sacks in three games, accounting for one third of the team’s total this summer.
The Chargers and 49ers have met 44 times in the preseason with San Francisco holding a 24-20 series edge. They have also won six straight.
By the Numbers
In 2015, the Chargers ranked ninth in total offense (371.8 yards per game), fourth in passing (286.9 ypg), 31st in rushing (84.9 ypg) and 26th in points (24.6). The 49ers ranked 31st total offense (303.8 ypg), 29th in passing (207.2 ypg), 21st in rushing (96.5 ypg) and 20th in points (14.9)
Defensively, the Bolts ranked 20th in total defense (361.9 ypg), 14th in passing (236.6 ypg), 27th in rushing (125.3 ypg) and 21st in points allowed (24.9). San Francisco ranked 28th in total defense (387.4 ypg), 26th in passing (261.2 ypg), 28th in rushing (126.2 ypg) and 18th in points allowed (24.2).
Noteworthy vs. the 49ers
Following a 38-35 overtime win in San Francisco in 2014, Philip Rivers was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week, FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week and Monday Morning Quarterback Offensive Player of the Week. He helped the Chargers overcome two 21-point deficits, tying the greatest come-from-behind win in franchise history. Rivers threw four touchdown passes, including three in the second half and two in the final 5:15 to send the game to overtime.
Corey Liuget scored his first NFL touchdown in that same game, recovering a San Francisco fumble in the end zone.
In 2006, Rivers recorded his first NFL 300-yard game against the 49ers.
Rivers completed the 1,500th (2010) and the 3,000th (2014) passes of his career during games against San Francisco.
In 2006, Gates caught a 57-yard touchdown pass against the Niners. At the time it was the second-longest touchdown catch of his career.
Playing for the Rams in 2011, Kellen Clemens scored the longest rushing touchdown of his career (18 yards) vs. the 49ers.
Playing for Philadelphia in 2011, King Dunlap blocked a field goal against the 49ers.
Brandon Flowers had a season-high four passes defensed vs. the 49ers in 2010 while with the Chiefs.
Sean McGrath made his NFL debut against San Francisco with the Seattle Seahawks in 2012.
Playing for New England in 2012, Danny Woodhead had a season-high 61 yards rushing and two touchdowns in a game against San Francisco.
Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy was born in San Francisco and grew up in Novato. As a pro quarterback, McCoy spent time with the 49ers in the mid-1990s.
Running Backs Coach Ollie Wilson coached the same position at Cal-Berkeley from 1983-90.
Offensive Assistant Tommy Rees’ father, Bill Rees, worked in the personnel department for the 49ers.
Chargers guard-tackle Kenny Wiggins spent time with the 49ers from 2011-13.
Wide receiver Keenan Allen, cornerback Steve Williams and nose tackle Brandon Mebane all attended Cal-Berkeley.
Tight end Asante Cleveland spent time with the 49ers from 2014-15. A business major in college (Miami, Fla.), Cleveland interned with the 49ers marketing department during the 2015 offseason. He shadowed different members of the team’s marketing staff, learning a wide range of skills, including graphic design, youth football and stadium sales. He also took part in the 49ers marketing department’s planning meetings leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft.
Cornerback Jason Verrett hails from Fairfield, California.
Safety Dwight Lowery played collegiately at San Jose State.
49ers cornerback Marcus Cromartie spent time with the Chargers from 2013-14.
Fellow cornerback Chris Davis joined the Chargers as a free agent in 2014 and spent time with the Bolts from 2014-15.
Tight end and long snapper Kyle Nelson spent time snapping with the Chargers in 2012.
Guard Andrew Tiller spent time on the Bolts’ practice squad in 2013.
CBS (KFMB, Channel 8 in San Diego and KCAL-TV, Channel 9 in Los Angeles and Orange County) – Spero Dedes (play-by-play), Dan Fouts (analyst) and Heather Myers (reporter)
Rock 105.3 FM, XTRA Sports 1360 (San Diego) and AM 570 KLAC (Los Angeles & Orange County) – Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Nick Hardwick (analyst) and Mike Costa (reporter)
Spanish Radio –XHFG 107.3 (San Diego)– Jorge Villanueva (play-by-play) and Tony Alvarez (analyst)
All Chargers radio broadcasts are now being streamed live on the team’s official website, www.chargers.com. XTRA Sports 1360 Broadcasts with Josh Lewin (play-by-play) and Nick Hardwick (analyst) will begin two hours before kickoff and continue for 90 minutes of postgame coverage.
Download the Chargers Official Mobile App for live game coverage, stats, and game day news.