Chargers Drop Preseason Game to Seahawks

If the season started this week, the Seattle Seahawks already look in mid-season form. The Seahawks led the NFL in rushing yardage per game in 2018. The Seahawks were the only NFL team last season to run more the ball more than 50% of the time. On Saturday Night, the Seahawks came to Los Angeles and showed that they will be a tough running team again this season, defeating the Chargers 23-15. The game was played at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson.

For three quarters, the Seahawks dominated the Chargers on the ground. In the 3rd quarter alone, the Seahawks ran 24 offensive plays, gaining 142 yards on offense and controlling the football for 13 minutes of the 15-minute quarter. The Chargers ran 4 offensive plays in the quarter for a total of 14 yards. Former Charger quarterback Geno Smith capped the 3rd quarter dominance with an eight-yard touchdown run to give the Chargers a 23-3 lead entering the final quarter.

In the first two quarters, the Seahawks were led by their starting quarterback Russell Wilson, who completed 6 of 9 passes for 73 yards and rushed three times for 31 yards. Wilson led the Seahawks on two touchdown drives in the 2nd quarter, with the first drive ending when former Norwalk high school star Rashaad Penny powered in from 3 yards out. The other touchdown came from running back C.J. Prosise on a one-yard touchdown run.

Head Coach Anthony Lynn was not overly pleased with the performance from the defense or the offense, stating that: "First three quarters, there wasn't a whole lot to be excited about in my opinion. It's a resilient group and that's what you expect to see, there's no quit in this team, but I wasn't excited the first three quarters. Tackling was just okay for me. Just okay."

The Chargers fell to 0-3 in preseason with the loss to the Seahawks. There is a lot to like about the 2019 Chargers football team, but unfortunately, the fans have not been able to see it. The Chargers have not played quarterback Philip Rivers, wide receiver Keenan Allen, center Mike Pouncey, defensive end Joey Bosa, defensive end Melvin Ingram or linebacker Thomas Davis in preseason. It is probably the right decision, to protect the key starters from injury, but it does leave a lot to be desired for Charger fans.

Running back Melvin Gordon has still not reported to Chargers camp and it looks like his holdout will continue into the regular season. Gordon is demanding a new contract or to be traded. Gordon will be paid $5.6 million this season, which makes him the 11th highest paid running back this season. He will collect that money if he reports for work.

The Chargers have not made an offer that satisfies Gordon or his agent, so it looks like the best solution may be a trade. At this point, the Chargers have a group of four running backs that look capable of handling the load: Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson, Detrez Newsome and Troymaine Pope. By trading Gordon, the Chargers would save money $5.6 million against the salary cap for this season and could acquire draft picks for the future.

Quarterback Cardale Jones has played well in the last two games.

He is in a battle for the #3 quarterback slot with rookie 5th round pick Easton Stick. If the Chargers decide to keep two quarterbacks, the likely scenario is Jones is cut or traded. Jones deserves an opportunity to play somewhere but he will not get it with the Chargers, not with Rivers and Tyrod Taylor at quarterback. Stick is likely destined for the practice squad.

Stick had a very good 4th quarter, throwing a dart to wide receiver Andre Patton for an eight-yard touchdown pass. He also had a four-yard touchdown run. Defensively, 4th round rookie linebacker Drue Tranquill led the Chargers with nine tackles and undrafted rookie free agent Chris Peace had the lone sack for the Chargers.

The Chargers close the preseason Thursday Night at San Francisco against the 49ers. This will be the last opportunity for players on the preseason 90-man roster to make an impression. The starters on both sides of the ball will not play in this game. This game is strictly to determine the last few roster spots. The rosters must be down to 53 by 1:00 pm (pacific time) on Saturday. That means that 37 players will be cut by Saturday morning.

The Chargers will likely add ten players to their practice squad, with most or all coming from the 37 players cut. Practice squad players ... practice with the team. They do not play in games. They earn $8,000 per week ($136,000 if on all 17 weeks). But as both Jackson and Newsome can attest to, the practice squad can eventually lead to the 53-man roster, as it did last season. Both played key roles late in the season for the Chargers.


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