Chargers struggle down the stretch

August 13, 2017 Carson, Ca. NFL Seattle Seahawks vs Los Angeles Chargers at Stubhub Center in Carson, Ca on August 13, 2017. (Photo by Jevone Moore Full Image 360)

Carson, Ca – In its first preseason game of the season, the Los Angeles Chargers scored on the opening drive with the first team offense but the backups struggled the rest of the way in a 48-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at the StubHub Center on Sunday night.

Philip Rivers looked like his old self on the first drive, completing 5-of-6 attempts for 56 yards and a touchdown. Rivers hit Antonio Gates for a 5-yard touchdown.

Once the starters left the field, so did the Chargers lead. Seattle forced three turnovers and scored 17 unanswered points in the first half.

“I thought we started the game well,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said. “I definitely didn’t like the way the twos in. We turned the ball over three times. We stopped playing Charger football.”

Second string quarterback Kellen Clemens threw a pick six on his second possession of the game. Clemens’ pass bounced off running back Brandon Oliver’s hands and into the grasp of linebacker Terence Garvin who returned it 37 yards for the score. \

Clemens redeemed himself with a 74-yard touchdown pass to Travis Benjamin with just under a minute left in the first quarter.

“I thought the first-team offense did a good job,” Benjamin, who finished with two receptions for 89 yards, said. “Going out there as a unit to score a touchdown, that’s what we think we can do each time.”

Seattle’s backups dominated the rest of the way, outscoring the Chargers 45-10. Rookie defensive back Desmond King recorded an interception in his first professional game.

Gates said he thinks the reason for the preseason is to be able to go back to the drawing board and see what you can do better.

“Considering the way we started, obviously, no matter what circumstances, you want to win the football game,” Gates said. “Next week, I guarantee we’re going to put a better foot forward.”