Normally when preseason football comes around, I am never interested by the time the 1st quarter of the game is over. However, this game between the Chargers and Packers was amazing. Words that come to mind are astonishing, astounding, bewildering, shocking, and startling. There were a lot of great moments in this game especially in the 1st quarter.
The 1st quarter started out with the Chargers first drive ending on a punt. As the Packers started their first drive, Chargers safety Atari Bigby came up with a fumble recovery. The Chargers started from the 30 yard line and Phillip Rivers connected with Antonio Gates for a touchdown. Gates looked quick and fast as he schooled the cornerback that was covering him and then sped past the safety in the end zone for the touchdown. On the kickoff, the Chargers special teams came up with a fumble recovery. The Chargers could not capitalize on the turnover as Rivers rushed a pass to Robert Meacham which was intercepted by Tramon Williams. That was the final drive for the Chargers first team and the second team would come in. Aaron Rodgers came out for one more drive but he threw an interception on the drive and was also hit hard by Melvin Ingram.
By the start of the 2nd quarter, it was a show between Chargers backup Quarterback Jarrett Lee and Packers backup Quarterback Graham Harrell. Lee was slinging the ball downfield with a great touchdown to Vincent Brown. Harrell came right back with a touchdown to Randall Cobb. The 3rd quarter was a back and forth, with both teams not scoring at all. At the start of the 4th quarter, the Packers got a quick touchdown after an 8 minute drive. Mike McCarthy tried to go for 2 points in order to take the lead but the Chargers defense held up and the game was at 14-13. With 4 minutes left in the game, Lee was on fire as he drove the Chargers down the field. He was 3-3 on passes leading the Chargers down to the 2 yard line. Curtis Brinkley got a touchdown to seal the game away for a 21-14 victory for the Chargers.
The Packers played this game like they were keeping an eye on their defense. Rodgers did not really do much and after getting shook up by Ingram, the Packers knew he had to come out. The running game was nonexistent and it shows they have to work on that if they want to help Rodgers out. The defense missed a lot of tackles and they look very young. The Packers will be ready for the regular season but they have a lot of work to do if they want to go far in the playoffs.
The Chargers looked very good in this game. The offense was running well and Rivers was passing accurate. His interception he threw though was questionable. Although the pressure was getting tight, he really rushed his throw to Meacham and it showed that they can use this preseason to find chemistry. Ryan Matthews came out with a shoulder injury after 1 play which is very scary. After the game it was found that Mathews has clavicle fracture, out 4-6 weeks. He is having surgery on Friday morning. The Chargers defense looked phenomenal. The pass rush was getting to Rodgers and the run was almost non-existent. They also forced necessary turnovers. The special teams also came up with a big turnover on a kickoff and Mike Scifres was punting the ball strong as ever. The Chargers are looking exciting in their first preseason game.
My player of the game is Quarterback Jarrett Lee. The Chargers drafted him out of LSU and he was a player who got benched halfway through his college season. He came into the game wanting to prove to the coaching staff that he can play ball and deserves a roster spot. Lee threw for 235 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. He showed the Chargers that he will be a solid backup and can be a project for Philip Rivers to train.
Before I end this story, there is one important piece of news from this game that I missed in my previous article. One of the referees in this game, Shannon Eastin, was the first woman to officiate an NFL game. Eastin has been officiating football games for 16 years and now she is making NFL history. Her cap and whistle from tonight’s game will be in the NFL Hall of Fame. Congratulations to Shannon Eastin! She’s breaking barriers for women referees and her solid job of officiating shows that more women deserve to have referee jobs in the NFL.