The Seahawks came out of the gate looking to exploit a habitual weak Chargers run defense. The Hawks’ Chris Carson converted on a trio of 3rd-and-1’s as Russell Wilson put together a well-orchestrated drive that found it’s way into the red zone without much retaliation from the defense. In fact, the Bolt’s have never stopped a team on a 3rd or 4th-and-1 the entire season. After the opening drive, opposing teams are 15/15 in those situations.
On a 1st-and-10, Russell Wilson sat for far too long in the pocket before firing a pass into the back of the end zone for WR Jaron Brown. Through traffic, Brown somehow snagged the pass over the head of CB Casey Hayward. After a lenthy first drive, it was 7-0 Seahawks.
RIvers came off the sideline in full retaliaton-mode as he marched the team down for a score prior to the first-quarter clock hitting all zeroes. Aided by a few penalties on Seattle’s part, Rivers found WR Tyrell Williams in the front-left corner of the endzone for a short score. After another....*long sigh*......missed extra point, the Chargers still trailed the Seahawks 7-6 heading into the second quarter.
Aided by a well-timed sack by S Jahleel Addae, the Chargers were able keep the Seahawks to a three-and-out on their ensuing drive. After the volume in the stadium caused a delay of game penalty on Rivers, he threw a beautiful ball to a wide-open Keenan Allen for a huge chunk of yardage. On the very next play, RB Melvin Gordon put the team on his back as he strode 34 yards before forcing his way into the end zone. After a failed 2-point try, the Chargers led 12-7 with 11:36 left in the half.
Another quick three-and-out by the Seahawks left the Chargers with all the momentum as the clock crept up to 10 minutes left on the clock. Unfotunately, after a stuffed run and an errant throw by Rivers on third down, the Chargers collected their first three-and-out of the evening.
The following Seattle drive started off with a deep pass completion to Doug Baldwin on a perfectly-placed pass over the the head of CB Michael Davis. To Seattle’s dismay, the drive ended up stalling en route to a Sebastian Janikowski field goal that ricocheted off the right upright from 51 yards. The game stood at 12-7.
It seemed like neither team wanted to seize the momentum left up in the air as both teams traded a pair three-and-outs during the second quarter.
The Chargers eventually became the first of the two teams to stake some claim in the second quarter as Rivers kicked the short slump he was suffering from in order to throw a short hitch route to WR Mike Williams that the second-year wide receiver turned into a 30-yard touchdown as the second half winded-down. With the successful extra point, the game sat at 19-7 with one minute and ten seconds left in the first half.
The scarcity of time wound-up being just enough for the Seahawks to travel into Chargers territory before kicking a 44-yard field goal as time expired. At the break, the Chargers maintained an ideal nine-point lead with the scoreboard reading 19-10.
To start off the second half, the Bolts couldn’t find their footing as they were forced to punt following a three-and-out. Not to be out-done, the Seahawks pitched their own three-and-out so they could feel apart of the party.
So, I just can’t stay as professional as I need to at this point of the game. The Chargers were able to move the ball fairly easily into Seattle territory on their second possession of the second half. After stalling just outside the red zone, Sturgis missed his second kick of the game, leaving the Bolts empty-handed. At this point, it’s looking more and more like they made the wrong decision, once again, involving the kicker situation after they cut Michael Badgley prior to this contest. That makes 16 total points that have been left on the field by the kicker for those of you keeping score.
DE Isaac Rochell chose a good time to make a play on the ensuing drive with a big sack of Russell Wilson that turned a 2nd-and-9 into a 3rd-and-22, forcing the Seahawks to inevitably punt.
As the third quarter finished ticking off, the Chargers attempted to convert a 3rd-and-8 with a intermediate pass to Keenan Allen. Where it looked like Allen was wrestled to the ground for a blatant pass interference penalty, the refs chose to throw a flag on RT Sam Tevi for holding. Unsurprisingly, the Chargers kicked off the final quarter by punting possession back to the waiting Seahawks.
With a bleeding forearm, Wilson was unable to buckle-down and collect any momentum for the Seahawks. A sack by DE Melvin Ingram did him no favors, as well. With time continuing to tick down in the fourth, the ‘Hawk punted the ball back to the Chargers as they hoped to take off a good chunk of time off the clock.
Gordon, knowing just how important this drive could be in deciding the outcome of this match-up, put on his big boy pants and started the drive with a few grown man runs. His second tote of the game went for a first down and sent him over the century-mark.
Unfortunately, just a few plays later, including a jet sweep by WR Travis Benjamin (WHY?!), the team’s momentum was shattered before they were forced to punt with just under eight minutes left in the quarter.
Just when the team needed a big play the most, CB Desmond King stepped in front of an ill-advised pass by Wilson and took it all the way home for his third interception of the year. The score stood at 25-10 after another missed extra point by Sturgis.
Just cut him. Don’t let him on the bus.
In a suspenseful drive, one that included several big defensive plays, the Seahawks gritted their way through to a short touchdown pass from Wilson to TE Nick Vannett. Props to Wilson as he somehow fit that pass between two linebackers that couldn’t have been more on top of that zone.. After the extra point, it was 25-17 Chargers with just under two minutes left to go.
The Seahawks, desperate for more time with the ball, attempted an onside kick. Luckily, the kick came out as a perfect rainbow into the arms of Austin Ekeler just inside Chargers’ territory.
Sticking with the theme of the night, the Chargers found themselves staring at another three-and-out.
Victory was still within their grasp as the Seahawks took over. A soft defense coupled with a couple of unforced errors from Melvin Ingram and Michael Davis gave the Seahawks an untimed down from the 1-yard line with a chance to win pull within two points. Wilson’s pass fell incomplete and the Chargers escaped with a win.