Chargers Must Improve On First Game Outcome
August 17, 2017
The Chargers' 2017 debut at StubHub Center was not what their fans expected even for an exhibition game. The number of Charger fans in attendance was not the kind of support the team expected even for an exhibition game. In a 27,000-seat stadium that is being expanded to 30,000 attendance was only 21,500. The result was a 48-17 beating on Sunday night, August 13 delivered by the visiting Seattle Seahawks.
Expectedly, the extent of the Charger highlights was in the first seven minutes and 15 seconds of the game with quarterback Philip Rivers at the helm. An impressive opening 13-play 75-yard drive capped by a pass to Antonio Gates for a five-yard touchdown pass was textbook before Rivers retired for the evening.
For the next 52 minutes and 45 seconds the Chargers were outscored 48-10 and had possession of the ball for a total of 16 minutes and 37 seconds. In the first round of their "Fight for LA," they got knocked down and beat up. The final Charger "highlight" was backup quarterback Kellen Clemens connecting on a 74-yard pass play to wide receiver Travis Benjamin just before the first quarter ended.
This was a preseason game, so it does not mean a lot. The first team offense was excellent. The Chargers are young and they have depth issues, so this game just illustrated where they have weaknesses. The unacceptable part of their performance was the four turnovers.
Their three first half turnovers led to 17 points and significantly contributed to the rout that followed the excellent first team drive led by Rivers. This is one area that Rivers is constantly talking about: the turnovers. The Chargers cannot lead the league in turnovers again and have any hope for success this season.
The Chargers will host the New Orleans Saints this Sunday, August 20, 5 p.m. at StubHub Center in Carson. It will be the final preseason game at home for Los Angeles. Against the Saints the sense of urgency will be to show the hesitant fanbase that they are going to "Fight for LA!"