Through the Chargers’ first three drives of the game, Justin Herbert and the offense turned the ball over three times while recording just two first downs. That allowed Seattle to jump out to an early 17-0 lead. Although it didn’t last long — the Bolts went on to score 14-straight — that was the last time we’d see anything but punt from the offense until the game was already out of hand.
The defense held its ground for most of the night but you could certainly tell the offense’s lack of consistency was affecting them throughout the night. The Seahawks held the ball for over 10 minutes one drive in the third quarter and that felt like a huge body blow to the defense who tried their best to limit an offense that just kept rolling and rolling and rolling.
Ultimately, the Chargers were outplayed on both sides of the ball from start to finish.
For a complete quarter-by-quarter recap of today’s game, check it out below.
The Chargers got the game started on a high note with a turnover on the opening drive just a few plays into regulation. Asante Samuel Jr. deflected a pass intended for Tyler Lockett up in the air which was then picked off by Kenneth Murray who returned it to the Seahawks 41-yard line.
But on the ensuing drive for the Bolts, the Chargers came up short running up the middle on fourth-and-inches before turning it over on downs.
The Seahawks snatched momentum back from the Chargers on the very next drive by overcoming several penalties en route to Geno Smith hitting Marquise Goodwin for his first touchdown of the season over the top of Asante Samuel Jr. With seven and a half minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Chargers trailed 7-0.
It took just four plays for tragedy to strike the Chargers again as Justin Herbert made a very ill-advised throw over the middle to a double-covered DeAndre Carter. Seattle defensive back Ryan Neal picked off the pass with ease and running back Kenneth Walker took the ball into the end zone from 12 yards out to push Seattle’s lead to 14-0.
You wouldn’t believe it, but the nightmare wasn’t over yet for the Chargers. On the fifth play of their third offensive drive, Herbert was stripped and the Seahawks recovered deep in Los Angeles territory. The defense stepped up, however, and kept Seattle to just a field goal thanks in part to Austin Johnson’s first sack of the season. With a little over a minute remaining in the period, the deficit grew to 17-0.
The Chargers finally go on the board with a seven-yard rushing score from Austin Ekeler. The score was set up by a third-down conversion from Herbert to Keenan Allen. The Chargers now trailed by 10 with a score of 17-7.
The momentum shifted wildly back in the Bolts’ favor when Seahawks wide receiver Dee Eskridge fumbled a toss to him in the backfield which was recovered by Khalil Mack just outside the Seattle 30-yard line.
Herbert capitalized on the turnover with his second-straight touchdown drive by hitting a crossing Mike WIlliams who strolled into the end zone from 13 yards out.
Just like that, the Chargers were back in the game at 17-14.
Both teams traded punts on the next two drives before the Seahawks found a groove. They marched down the field and Smith hit Goodwin for his second touchdown of the game. The Seahawks were back on top by 10 with under two minutes remaining in the half.
Chargers failed to put up points before the half and the teams entered the locker room with the score at 24-14.
The offense couldn’t get anything going on a six-play, 29-yard drive to begin the second half. Austin Ekeler got several more targets but overall things still weren’t able to open up downfield.
The Seahawks essentially took control of the entire quarter with a lengthy drive of over 10 minutes. Morgan Fox was able to sack Smith on a third-and-goal from the six-yard line to effectively end the drive and force a kick. The Seahawks pushed their lead to 13 with 1:06 remaining in the quarter.
The final quarter was dominated by the Seahawks with the real highlight coming from the Chargers being a safety to minimize the deficit to 11 points. Unfortunately the Chargers followed that with a bad three-and-out and then the floodgates opened up once again.
The Seahawks kicked a field goal on their next drive to push their lead back to 14 points at 30-16. The Bolts needed a touchdown in a bad way but could only muster 49 yards and another turnover on downs. On the very first play of the ensuing Seattle drive, rookie running back Kenneth Walker raced around the right end and sprinted 74 yards to the end zone. That was the proverbial dagger for the Chargers as they now faced a 37-16 deficit.
The Chargers offense finally found a groove late in the fourth but things were already far too out of hand. Herbert marched the team 75 yards in 11 plays and capped it off with a touchdown pass to Austin Ekeler.
Seattle took over possession and ran out the rest of the clock to hold on to a 37-23 victory.
Justin Herbert completed 33-of-51 passes for 293 yards with two touchdowns and one interceptions.
Austin Ekeler turned nine carries into 31 yards and a touchdown. He did the majority of his damage through the air as he led the team with 12 catches and 96 yards with another score.
Mike Williams finished with seven catches for 86 yards and a touchdown before he exited with an ankle injury.
The defense was paced by Derwin James with eight total tackles. Both Austin Johnson and Morgan Fox recorded sacks on Geno Smith. Kenneth Murray recorded his first career interception off a tipped pass on the Seahawks’ opening drive.