The Chargers fell to the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday night by a score of 23-15. The Chargers were down 23-3 heading into the fourth quarter before quarterback Easton Stick took-hold of the offense and managed to find the end zone on a pair of occasions.
Although the team dropped to 0-3 in the month of August, preseason exhibitions are there to spotlight the shortfalls and areas of need prior to the games that actually matter. If you’re an optimist (like I try to be) you may walk away from August with some semblance of confidence in that this coaching staff will understand what need’s to be done prior to September 8th.
Cross your fingers, toes, and anything else you are able to. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Here are you Winners and Losers from Saturday night’s contest.
WR Artavis Scott
Scott finally had the game we have all been waiting. The third-year receiver caught all four of his targets on the night for a team-high 66 yards.
With the recent addition of Dontrelle Inman into the wide receiver room, the pressure has ramped up significantly for the rest of the young wideouts heading into the final preseason, which for some, is their final shot at making an impression to Anthony Lynn and the rest of the coaching staff.
With his recent performance, I am confident in claiming that Scott is a lock for this final roster and the final receiver spot is currently a toss-up between Andre Patton (two touchdowns this month) or Geremy Davis (special teams prowess).
QB Easton Stick
After back-to-back games where the young QB threw head-scratching interceptions, Stick put together his most efficient performance yet, tossing his first touchdown pass of his career and tallying his second rushing score of his young career.
Stick finished 12-of-16 for 82 yards through the air and took three carries for another 14 yards. He looked as in-command of the offense as he’s ever been, methodically marching his team down the field while knowing just when to use his legs to extend the current play.
Although Lynn has kept his cards close, and he really doesn’t enjoy saying anything negative about Cardale Jones, I cannot see a world where the coaching staff sides with Jones over their latest fifth-round pick. The former Buckeye is highly-likely to be the last man out.
OLB Chris Peace
After missing the second game of the preseason due to a lower-body injury, the UDFA out of Virginia made his presence known once again, collecting the only sack of the night for the Chargers and his second sack this preseason.
The 6-foot-2, 238 pound outside linebacker has been the most consistent pass-rusher this preseason apart from Uchenna Nwosu.
The Run Game
Outside of the first two drives against the Cardinals, the running game has not looked up-to-par over the last few weeks. Outside of Tyrod Taylor and Easton Stick, the running back trio of Justin Jackson, Austin Ekeler, and Troymaine Pope could only amass 51 yards on 14 total carries, good for 3.62 yards per tote.
This could obviously be a side-effect of the team’s struggling offensive line unit sans center Mike Pouncey, but there have been little to no silver linings with the current group of hog-mollies. According to recent comments from Coach Lynn, every single job is up for grabs along the offensive line except for the center position.
Apparently, even 2019 third-round pick Trey Pipkins, who has been a known developmental project since he was selected in April, has now found himself in the running for a starting offensive tackle spot with Sam Tevi and Trent Scott.
This is quite the turn-of-events from as recently as a month ago when the idea of Pipkins starting on this team was one of the farthest ideas from reality.
God help Philip Rivers in this time of divine need.
Although it lacked three of the four incumbent starters, the defensive line that was fielded during their loss to the Seahawks was a far cry from the quality of unit that the team will need to have during the 2019 regular season.
When the first half finally came to a close, the Seahawks had rushed for over 125 yards on the ground against a defense that, for the most part, fielded some of the heavy-hitters on this team. Those guys included Casey Hayward, Desmond King, Kyzir White, Jatavis Brown, Justin Jones, and Jerry Tillery.
It was so bad that I started having horrific flashbacks of the team playoff loss to the New England Patriots. Sights of the Seattle offensive line coming off the ball with parallel backs and moving the Chargers’ defensive line from Point “A” to Point “B” were triggering fits of rage deep inside me.
I’m not sure how much an aging Brandon Mebane will do to fortify this run defense, but obviously the duo of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram should improve the unit by some measure. Let’s all cross our fingers that Tillery and Jones find themselves in a synergistic relationship with their two edge-rushers once all pieces are finally placed on the field for Week 1.