Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said he expects some players “are going to be disappointed” with their grades from Sunday’s video review of the 24-14 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in an NFL preseason game because of the 14 penalties called against the team.
However, Lynn cited several positives following Saturday’s game at StubHub Center.
“The guys are playing the most consistent football right now and it’s smart,” Lynn said after his team evened its record at 1-1. “We’re not going to beat ourselves. That’s the thing we recite every day.”
Additionally, “certain guys have turned the corner,” Lynn said.
“They understand the speed of this game, the executing,” Lynn said. “They’re playing physical and clean football.”
The Chargers allowed field goals on both of Seattle’s first two possessions, but then held the Seahawks scoreless until Alex McGough’s 12-yard touchdown pass to fellow rookie Malik Turner with four minutes, 31 seconds to play in the fourth quarter.
The Chargers were outgained, 340 yards to 322 before a crowd announced at 23,211.
“Classic example of bend-but-don’t break defense,” Lynn said. “Normally we don’t see deep balls going over our heads like we did today, but they didn’t let them in the end zone and that was the most important thing.”
Both teams had 17 first downs. The Chargers led 37:21-22:39 in time of possession, more time of possession then they had in any game in 2017.
Melvin Gordon ran two yards for a touchdown on the Chargers first possession, undrafted rookie free agent JJ Jones returned a punt 72 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter and Mike Williams caught a 25-yard pass from Geno Smith in the third quarter for the Chargers lone second-half touchdown.
Philip Rivers completed six of seven passes for 62 yards in his first action of the preseason. He did not play in the Chargers 24-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals Aug. 11 in the preseason opener for both teams.
Smith replaced Rivers at the start of the second quarter, completing six of eight passes for 85 yards.
“I felt pretty good out there,” said Smith, who completed 14 of 23 passes for 218 yards and one touchdown with one interception against Arizona.
“I think the (offensive) line did a great job protecting and the wide receivers did a wonderful job getting open. It just made my job easier.”
Cardale Jones entered the game on the Chargers second possession of the third quarter, completing three of four passes for 27 yards.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson played the entire first half, completing 13 of 21 passes for 193 yards. Austin Davis replaced him at the start of the second half and completed one of three passes for six yards.
McGough completed nine of 12 passes for 97 yards.
The Chargers converted seven of 14 third-down plays, 50 percent, the Seahawks six of 13, 46 percent.
Rivers completed all four of his passes for 41 yards on his team’s opening possession, including a 21-yard completion to Tyrell Williams on the first play.
“We were hitting on all cylinders,” said Gordon, who ran for 35 yards on 10 carries, all in the first half.
JJ Jones praised special teams coordinator George Stewart for making “a great call” on his punt return touchdown, calling a middle return.
“It opened up like the Red Sea and I just hit it,” said Jones, who played at West Georgia, an NCAA Division II school.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said the punt return touchdown was “the difference in the ballgame.”
Jason Myers kicked a 33-yard field goal for the Seahawks on the game’s first possession, five plays after an illegal block in the back by rookie tight end Will Dissly that nullified a 23-yard touchdown run by Chris Carson.
Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 25-yard field goal on Seattle’s second drive. The 40-year-old spent the 2017 season on injured reserve for Oakland after kicking for the Raiders from 2000-16.
McGough’s two-point conversion pass to Cyril Grayson Jr. cut the deficit to 21-14.
The Chargers drove 51 yards on nine plays on the ensuing possession, which culminated with Roberto Aguayo’s 39-yard field goal with 40 seconds to play.
“We’d really like to win these games because it’s more fun,” Carroll said. “The opportunities to score were just totally there.”
— City News Service
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