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Five Lessons from the Seahawks Game

Posted Aug 16, 2014

Here are your weekly five lessons from the past week's game.

Here are five lessons we learned from Friday’s 41-14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

1. The Right Reaction– It’s far too easy to dismiss a poor August showing as working out preseason kinks, and far too often teams take that approach. Luckily that doesn’t apply to the Chargers.  Even though it was only an exhibition loss, the team was angry and upset with their disappointing performance starting with Head Coach Mike McCoy:

“Overall, not a very good performance by our entire football team.  Not a lot of positives.  We’re going to have to go back and look at the film and evaluate it from the very first snap to the last and find a way to improve.”

While determined to learn from their mistakes, they’ve stressed that even though it doesn’t go on their regular season record, it still is significant as stated very succinctly by Eric Weddle:

“We weren’t good at all in all three phases.  We’re not hiding behind anything.  That’s the Super Bowl Champs for a reason and they played like it.  We wanted to come in here and play well, and we just didn’t do it.  Even though it’s the preseason you can say it doesn’t matter, but it does matter in our eyes.  It should matter and you should care.  We shouldn’t be happy with the performance we put out there.  We’ll go back to work.”


2.  Run Defense Lacking–  The Seahawks were able to run at will Friday night, accumulating 243 yards on the ground while averaging 6.6 yards per carry.  They scored five rushing touchdowns, including four by quarterbacks who combined to run for 99 yards.  The defense knows it needs to shape up against the run as explained by Jerry Attaochu:

“It’s definitely something we’ll have to improve from because we have no other choice. More than anything, like it was emphasized earlier from some of my teammates, it’s better that it happened now than in the regular season.  It’s the preseason and we can get better from it.  It’s no excuse, but we will learn from this when we play them in the second week of the season.”

3.  Get Them Off the Field– It’s quite simple.  If the opposition doesn’t punt all game, you have virtually no chance of winning the game.  That’s exactly what happened on Friday when the Seahawks scored on seven of their nine drives.  The only time they didn’t put points on the board was when they ran out the clock at the end of each half.  McCoy was blunt about the team’s effort in that regard:

“There are no excuses here.  You’ve got to get them to get off the field and punt.  And we didn’t make them punt once so there are obviously some breakdowns somewhere and lack of communication…When 11 guys aren’t on the same page that’s bad news.” 

4.  Red Zone Efficiency Improved–  A main focus heading into the game was to improve the offense’s red zone efficiency.  While they only made two trips inside the opposition’s 20-yard line, the Bolts made the most of them by scoring a touchdown each time.  Kellen Clemens orchestrated both of those drives, and he didn’t throw an incompletion once in the red zone.  The first score was a 13-yard laser to Keenan Allen, who exposed a hole in the Seahawks’ Cover-3 scheme.  Jake Byrne tallied the second TD on a play-action pass to the tight end.  Overall, Clemens impressed McCoy once again:

“I think Kellen Clemens with what he did and the drives he went down (had another good game).  He got down there and moved the football.  He ran the team the way it should be run.  He moved around the pocket when things broke down…Kellen was 100% in the red area and that was something we were working on as a football team.”

5.  Young Receivers Stepping Up– With less than two weeks to go before the final roster must be pared down from 90 to 53, there is intense competition across the board.  One of the fiercest battles is at wide receiver where a number of youngsters are making it awfully hard on McCoy and General Manager Tom Telesco.  Those young wideouts stated their case again on Friday with a solid second half.  Undrafted free agent Javontee Herndon had a pair of athletic catches for 22 yards, each of which went for a first down. Dontrelle Inman followed up his breakout game against the Cowboys with a clutch 15-yard reception while seventh-round pick Tevin Reese converted a 3rd-and-3 in the red zone with a nine-yard catch and run.  Even though he is a veteran, Seyi Ajirotutu is to be lauded as well for a key 26-yard reception in the third quarter.  Keenan Allen was in these receivers shoes last year trying to make an impact in the preseason, and he’s impressed by their performances:

“Seeing those young receivers reminded me of me last year trying to make plays and get noticed.  They moved the ball and made plays.  So that was great to see.”



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