SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 18: Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers throws a pass against the Dallas Cowboys at Qualcomm Stadium on August 18, 2012 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Don't fool yourself. The scoreboard says that the Chargers won this (meaningless) preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys. What the scoreboard doesn't say is that the Chargers' first-stringers were outscored 13-0 by the Coboys' first-stringers, and that the Bolts lost Quentin Jammer and Vincent Brown to injury.
Jammer's injury was to his chest, and he seemed fine on the sideline later in the game. Brown was carted off with a doctor holding his ankle in place, which could mean a break. That would be a tough pill to swallow for the player that was probably having the best camp of any Charger this season.
The Chargers played with only two QBs (except for Jarrett Lett taking a knee at the end), with Charlie Whitehurst looking fantastic in the second half and Philip Rivers looking erratic and unlucky behind a relatively shaky offensive line (Mike Harris struggled a bit without help from TEs). The running game looked awful in the first half, but significantly better in the second once Edwin Baker and Jackie Battle came in.
The defense is the real issue. You're going to hear a lot of people talk about how much better the defense looks with Melvin Ingram in it in comparison to Jarret Johnson. There's is going to be a min-controversy. It's going to be stupid because it is not going to change anything. Anyway, the defense looked unable to create a pass-rush (without Ingram) and wasn't too good at stopping the run, either. The defensive secondary, which was always lacking for depth, looks to be in tatters.
This isn't a catastrophe, but it's not good as far as preseason games go. We'll have more about this game throughout the week and more when we hear more about the injuries to Jammer and Vincent Brown.