The San Diego Chargers were defeated by the Tennessee Titans 27-10 in their preseason opener. The team had stretches of play that should excite Chargers fans, but overall the team struggled on both sides of the ball.
Even with the issues that the Chargers faced, there were a few players who stood out above the rest and performed at a high level. It is preseason so don’t take this as gospel, but the following players did display some nice play to put themselves in a good position to succeed in 2016.
Throughout the second half, Kenneth Farrow was the centerpiece of the Chargers offense. Racking up 85 total yards and has begun to make his case for the final 53. He had the ball in his hands 18 times and did a nice job as the backup quarterbacks struggled to find their footing. Farrow will have a tough task ahead of him if he is to force this team to keep four running backs. The good news for him is that it looks like he is ahead of Dreamius Smith on the depth chart now and should see more work next week.
He only played a single series, but Melvin Gordon found the end zone, something he was unable to do in 2015. Gordon caught a 44-yard pass from Philip Rivers and he ended up trucking Rashad Johnson on his way for the score. His lone reception was enough to lead the Chargers in receiving yards as well. This could really boost Gordon’s confidence as he is trying to get his rookie season behind him.
Our Cody Young also broke down Hunter Henry’s performance from Saturday’s game against the Titans. Henry caught three passes for 43 yards, and his play backed up all of the hype from the draft. Henry was known for his soft hands, and they were on full display in his first game as a Charger. Henry caught a few balls from Kellen Clemens who couldn’t hit his receivers all night, which should provide even more evidence of his solid play.
The Chargers have a lot invested in Henry; it’s good that he started his career off on the right foot. Henry is the highest draft pick playing for the Chargers at the moment as the team is still in a standstill with first-round selection Joey Bosa.
One of my training camp crushes was safety Dexter McCoil. The former CFL standout has been making headlines since rookie minicamp. He didn’t see a ton of action in the opener, but in the short time he got, McCoil made his presence felt.
McCoil started off his night with a great tackle on special teams. Titans returner Tre McBride was slammed by McCoil for a loss.
Defensively, McCoil made two more tackles and recovered a fumble. It is hard to miss McCoil with his big 6”4 frame, but it’s impossible to miss him when he is making plays all over the field. Him and safety Adrian McDonald are a dangerous duo, and hopefully, they get their time to shine next week against Arizona.
Branden Oliver’s 2015 season was incomplete. He missed most of the season due to injury and has returned looking like the same consistent runner the Chargers need. The young back had three rushes for 19 yards, but that’s all fans or coaches needed to see. Oliver is back to normal and he definitely deserves time in the backfield if he is going to play like he did against Tennessee.
If Gordon struggles like he did in last year, a healthy Oliver could take Gordon’s snaps in a hurry.