One game is now under the Chargers belts for the 2011-12 season, with hopefully 21 or 22 games left remaining. Here are my quick thoughts on the game:
- Philip Rivers might be the greatest QB that ever lived when he isn't going up against a good pass rush. Tonight, in facing an incredibly vanilla defense from the Seahawks, El Capitan posted a perfect 158.3 QB Rating while completing all but one of his six passes.
- Jordan Todman, who was the only Chargers RB with an average of more than 2.5 yards per carry, looked very good with the ball in his hands. I like what he brings to the ground game, but am wondering why he's not getting a shot at returning kicks yet.
- Vincent Jackson's 48 yard catch was the highlight of the night, and showed that the chemistry between him and Rivers on deep passes is still as good as ever.
- Bryan Walters, who is a fan favorite as a Wide Receiver, probably opened a few eyes with his 103-yard kick return TD. Walters, who was probably behind Marcus Gilchrist, Patrick Crayton and Antoine Cason on the depth chart for that role, can really throw a wrench in things if he can have similar success in the other preseason games.
- The Special Teams was good, but not great. They're tough to judge in the preseason, but Bisaccia looked pleased.
- I blame Gilchrist's muffed punt on nerves. The kid is going to be really special when he gets the ball in his hands.
- Darryl Gamble turned into Antwan Barnes for a game, but didn't face Russell Okung at all. He'll need to keep that up to make the team, but the first step was getting himself on the map of the media and the fans. He certainly did that tonight.
- Bront Bird looked exactly as I suspected from watching him in practice. He's too big to be trying to catch RBs in the middle of the field. If he makes the team, I hope he's great at Special Teams.
- First-round pick Corey Liuget looked for real (see what I did there?). Good speed and athleticism will make up for the few times he's out of position. I was surprised to see him playing as much NT as he played, though.
- Ramon Broadway had an interesting game. He's going to need a new chin-strap.
- I like the look of the defense with Bob Sanders in there. It looked dynamic, which is an element that's been missing, and very aggressive. Sanders and Spikes are going to make a lot of plays.
- Scott Tolzien looked real good once he got into a rhythm and calmed down. Maybe the Seahawks will trade the Chargers a 3rd round pick for him. They could certainly use an accurate QB.
Make sure you check out High Boltage Radio on XTRA Sports (1360AM if you're in San Diego, or listen online, or listen on your smartphone with the I Heart Radio app) on Saturday morning from 11am to Noon. I won't be involved with this week's show (it's the only one I'll ever miss, hopefully), but I watched tonight's game with Steve Adler specifically so he could get my feedback and perspective on the game and can maybe factor that in during the show. Oh, and Steve will be taking your Chargers calls during the hour. Don't let Steve be lonely, give him a call.