The San Diego Chargers will play their first preseason game this year at home against the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. PDT. San Diego is 23-26 all-time against Seattle in the regular season and the Chargers have lost 11 of their last 14 games against the Seahawks.
Seattle will be without Percy Harvin, who ranked 11th in the NFL with 75 receiving yards per game in 2012. Seattle could also be missing Sidney Rice, who led the team in receiving yards and was tied for the team lead with seven touchdown receptions.
Most teams do not play their starters after a few series in the first preseason game, but for at least a part of Thursday’s game, there will be a battle of a great rushing attack against a great run defense. Seattle ranked fifth in the NFL with an average of 4.8 yards per rushing attempt in 2012, while San Diego ranked fifth in fewest yards per rushing attempt allowed.
San Diego will face Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson for a few drives, which could be a challenge as indicated by Wilson’s QB rating, which ranked fourth in the league last year.
The Chargers should attack Seattle on the ground with Ryan Mathews and or Danny Woodhead for the most part when their starters are in the game. Seattle allowed 6.2 yards per pass attempt in 2012 which ranked third in the league, while they allowed 4.5 yards per rushing attempt, which ranked 23rd out of 32 teams.
Seattle was tied for 18th with the Buffalo Bills in sacks last year and could be without Chris Clemons, who ranked ninth in sacks, as he tore his ACL in January. This should take some pressure away from San Diego QB Philip Rivers, who was sacked 49 times in 2012.
The Seahawks were undefeated at home in 2012, but were 3-5 on the road. San Diego was only 3-5 at home in 2012, but Seattle is banged up, so I expect San Diego to win 23-16.