Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chargers Sleepwalk in Seattle, Lose 27-20

The good news is that the Chargers don't play another game in September.  The bad news is that the Chargers have put themselves in another hole, losing 27-20 to Seattle, and falling to 1-2.  With Kansas City beating San Francisco earlier in the day, the Chargers are already two games behind the Chiefs.

The Chargers came out of the gate, and gained 26 yards on their first three plays, but turned the ball over after Legedu Naanee fumbled the ball, and the Seahawks recovered.  The Chargers forced Seattle to punt without gaining a first down, so the turnover wasn't too costly.

Seattle got on the board first, putting together a 8 play, 80 yard drive, that led to an Olindo Mare field goal.  The Seahawks had the early 3-0 lead.

Later in the second quarter, the Chargers put together a nice drive, moving all the way down to the Seahawks 12, but Mike Tolbert coughed up the football, and Seattle recovered to stall a scoring chance for the Bolts.  Turnovers were a recurring theme in this game.

Seattle added a touchdown at the end of the second half, and took a 10-0 lead into the halftime locker room.  The Chargers had opportunities  to score, but continued their disturbing trend of turnovers.  You had to figure the Chargers would get their act together in the second half.  Well, not exactly.

Leon Washington, who the Jets dumped after he suffered a gruesome injury to his leg last year, took the opening kick of the second half, and ran it back 101 yards to the house.  The Chargers missed several tackles on the play, and things were looking grim, as the Chargers were down big, 17-0.

The Chargers showed some resilience, bouncing back with a quick 4 play, 80 yard drive, that resulted with Rivers hooking up with Malcolm Floyd on a three yard touchdown catch.  The Chargers had life, down 17-7.

The Chargers got even closer after the teams traded punts.  Middle linebacker Brandon Siler, who was filling in for the injured Stephen Cooper, sacked Matt Hasselbeck in the end zone for the safety.  The Chargers pulled to 17-9.

The Chargers took advantage of the field position given to them, and were able to turn the drive into a Nate Kaeding field goal from 29 yards, and the lead was cut to just 5.

On the Chargers next position, Rivers tried to hit Gates on a route over the middle, but the ball went off the hands of Gates, and into the hands of Seattle safety Earl Thomas.  His return inside the Chargers 20 yard line, set up a chipshot field goal by Olindo Mare, and pushed the Hawks lead back to 8.

The Chargers still had plenty of fight, marching back down the field to score.  Rivers hooked up with Antonio Gates on a 12 yard TD score, and Legedu Naanee made the catch on the 2 point try, and the Chargers evened the score at 20.  Rivers finished the game with a franchise record 455 yards passing.

The draw was short-lived however, as Leon Washington ran back another kickoff return for a score, giving Seattle a 27-20 lead that they would not relinquish.

The Chargers had another opportunity to score, but Philip Rivers threw his second pick of the day, and a desperation throw on 4th and 15, from the Seahawks 17.  The Chargers battled back from a big deficit, but were unable to pull out the victory.  The Chargers turned the ball over five times, and had 11 penalties in the game.  The Chargers next opponent is the Arizona Cardinals, next Sunday at home.

The Good:  Philip Rivers did a great job once again, of spreading the ball around.  Rivers completed passes to nine different receivers, and it wasn't just Antonio Gates making plays.  Buster Davis had his best day as a pro, catching 3 passes for 82 yards.  Malcom Floyd also had 97 yards on 6 receptions.  On defense, the Chargers played a pretty solid game.  Brandon Siler, and Antwan Applewhite each had a sack, and Siler had three tackles for loss.  Quentin Jammer had a pick, and the unit only allowed Seattle to have one long, sustained drive.

The Bad:  This team is flat-out pathetic on special teams.  Allowing two return touchdowns is inexcusable.  The Chargers also allowed a 31 yard punt return to Golden Tate.  The Chargers will not be able to beat anyone with making a serious adjustment in this area.  Five turnovers, including three fumbles is pitiful.  The Chargers continue to turn the ball over in the red zone, leaving points on the field.  You cannot win the NFL doing things like that, especially on the road.  11 penalties show that this team is playing undisciplined.  You have to wonder why Norv Turner can't get this unit to play it's best ball out of the gate.  I really am starting to think that this team won't be able to go into Oakland and win. 

Chargers Key Players

Philip Rivers:  29-53, 455 yds, 2 TD's, 2 INT's, 80.3 rating.
Mike Tolbert:  17 carries, 73 yds, 4.3 avg.
Antonio Gates:  7 catches, 109 yds, 1 TD
Buster Davis:  3 catches, 82 yards
Malcolm Floyd:  6 catches. 97 yards, 1 TD

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