Carson, Ca- Offensive struggles continued for the Los Angeles Chargers as they finished with 177 total yards in a 13-7 loss to the New Orleans Saints in front of 21,504 at the StubHub Center on Sunday.
With both Drew Brees and Philip Rivers dressed but not playing, the backups got the start. The Chargers failed to score on offense and allowed eight sacks.
“The sacks is killed us (but) it’s not just the offensive line,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said. “It’s running backs, tight ends, it’s the whole group. We have to do a better job of coaching these guys and getting them ready to play.”
Defensively, the Chargers played well besides the first offensive play for the Saints. Rookie running back Alvin Kamara scored on a 50-yard touchdown run to give the Saints a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
Chargers defensive end Chris McCain got to the quarterback for the second straight game. McCain had half a sack with three quarterback hurries against the Seahawks last week and added a sack for a loss of 10 yards against the Saints.
The Chargers only touchdown came on defense as safety Dexter McCoil intercepted Ryan Nassib and returned it 99-yards for the score. The last pick-six in preseason play for the Chargers came last season when Brandon Flowers took a Carson Palmer pass 25 yards for the touchdown on Aug. 19, 2016.
“Our goal in practice everyday is to get the ball and score,” McCoil said. “I was just trying to find the end zone.”
After recording his first interception in the preseason opener, rookie Desmond King recorded his first sack and added a pass defensed against the Saints. King has five total tackles with an interception, a forced fumble and now a sack in his first two games with the Chargers.
“The defense led the league in interceptions last year with 18 so that’s a fact right there that shows our secondary is (full of) ballhawks,” King said. “We learn from each other. We feed off each other.”
Lynn believes the Chargers are going to play very well once the season begins. He said when they put that starting 22 out there, this team is going to be pretty good.
“After that performance tonight you might not think so, Lynn said. “But I’m just telling you, I see this team everyday.”