San Diego Chargers vs. Seattle Seahawks: Preseason Game 1 Summary and Thoughts

The San Diego Chargers have many new faces and returning faces in the 2014 season. They have a new coach in Mike McCoy, a new offensive coordinator in Ken Wisenhunt, and a new general manager in Tom Telesco.

Offense has quarterback Phillip Rivers looking to redeem himself after two terrible seasons, running back Ryan Matthews needs to show he can play a 16 game season, the receivers must step up with the loss of Danario Alexander, and their offensive line has to be the strong.

Defense has a defensive line led by Cory Liuget and Dwight Freeney, the linebackers have Manti Te’o and Jarrett Johnson, and the secondary has a lot of new faces with Shareece Wright and Derek Cox at the cornerback position while Eric Weddle is a veteran presence.

With so many players having lots to prove, they look to use this preseason to get out all the kinks and be ready for the regular season.

Offense:

The Chargers starting offense only had one drive in tonight’s game. It was a 14 play, 74 yard drive which ended in a field goal.

Quarterback Phillip Rivers throws for 45 yards passing and also had lots of mobility in the pocket even with a 5 yard run.  Ryan Matthews gets 3 carries for 19 yards and looked explosive out of the backfield. Tight ends Antonio Gates and John Phillips both get a reception and combined for 34 yards, showing a two tight end format in this new offense.

Defense:

The Chargers starting defense had a lot on their plate tonight. They had to contain quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch. Lynch did not have many reps in the backfield but Wilson was the problem for the Chargers defense.

Their defensive line showed speed off the line but Wilson did as well. His speed was a problem but there are not many mobile quarterbacks on the regular season schedule. The secondary looked good on man coverage and forced the Seahawks to throw short. The Seahawks offense had 23 yards passing and 24 yards rushing in two drives so the defense did their job well.

Thoughts:

The Chargers first team unit for offense and defense looked great in this game. The final score (31-10) will tell you they lost but for the starting units it was a victory.  The offense was productive and moved the ball while the defense shut down the Seahawks offense.

Things left to be answered on offense are: whether Phillip Rivers under head coach Mike McCoy will become a new quarterback, will Ryan Matthews step into the franchise back role, who is the number one receiver without Danario Alexander, and can the offensive line be a powerhouse?

Things left to be answered on defense are: Can the defensive line put pressure on the run, can the linebackers contain the short pass and backup the line on run plays, and can the secondary shut down elite passers?

There is more to see with the San Diego Chargers but they are off to a great start. More preseason games will slowly reveal this new team but it’s all a tease for the regular season. This year will be interesting and I think everyone is excited for the return of football.

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