The final scoreboard says the San Diego Chargers were blown out in their preseason opener against the Seattle Seahawks. But what it fails to mention is that the Chargers’ starters actually looked pretty good.
The Bolts offense opened the 2013 preseason with an impressive 13-play, 74-yard drive which resulted in a field goal. The most important and huge relief was the performance of the starting offensive line, which actually looked competent. In pass protection, they did a good job keeping Philip Rivers upright and also did a pretty good job blocking in the run game. Rivers was efficient, completing 5 of 6 passes for 45 yards. His only incompletion was a throwaway, and Rivers didn’t make any poor decisions that have gotten him into trouble the last couple of years.
Ryan Mathews looked more decisive and had the highlight of the night, leaping over the pile on 4th-and-1 for a 9-yard gain. Also impressive was wide receiver Keenan Allen, who could be in for much more playing time following Danario Alexander’s season-ending knee injury.
Meanwhile, the defense contained Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and surrendered no points to Seattle’s starters. Dwight Freeney and Larry English got some good pressures, and if it weren’t for Wilson’s escape ability, the Chargers’ defense may have gotten a couple sacks. The secondary also held up pretty well, forcing Wilson to run with the ball or throw it away when the pressure got in his face. Wilson completed just 2 of 6 passes on the night.
The fact that Seattle’s backups crushed San Diego’s backups may amplify the Chargers’ lack of depth. The Chargers have some good talent in the starting lineups on both sides of the ball. However, injuries are inevitable in the NFL and could quickly derail the Chargers’ season if the team were to lose a key player or two for a long period of time.