San Diego Chargers: What Was Learned From the First Preseason Game?
The Chargers opened their 2010 preseason with a 25-10 win over the Bears. However, wins and losses are not as important in the preseason as finding out a team's strengths and weaknesses. Here's a look at what the San Diego Chargers showed in their first game.
Ryan Mathews is a player
The Chargers' front office made sure to get Mathews by trading up for him, Mathews showed why the front office wanted him so badly Saturday. He had 9 carries for 50 yards, but more importantly he ran hard and looked difficult to tackle. He showed that he can be the solid every down back that the Chargers have been missing in the past couple of years with LaDanian Tomlinson on the decline. His success will help the Chargers deal with the potential absence of Vincent Jackson on the outside.
So is Curtis Brinkley
The Chargers will need to carry three or four half backs on their roster. This preseason those last spots will be up for grabs. The three players battling for the final one, or two spots are Marcus Mason, Shawnbrey McNeal, and Curtis Brinkley. Brinkley ran like a locomotive in his five late game carries for 36 yards. He has positioned himself as the front runner for the third half back spot.
The starting secondary is scary
Scary bad that is. They allowed Jay Cutler to look good in the few plays he was in, and made Cableb Haine look good during his time in the game. Niether Nathan Vasher nor Antione Cason looked like a starting NFL corner back while they were struggling to cover a myriad of average receivers.
The second string secondary is too
Scary good that is. While the second team was taking on a worse version of the Bears offense then the starters, they looked better then the starters. Brandon and Dante Hughes both showed toughness on the corner which exemplified with Brandon's huge hit on Kellen Davis in the third quarter. Even C.J. Spillman and Paul Oliver who struggled last season, looked like studs. The highlight being Oliver's interception.
The linebacking corps is deep
The starting linebackers looked good, even without Shawne Marriman. But what was more impressive was the play of the backups. Darry Beckwith was all over the field, leading the team with 7 tackles. Antione Applewhite had two sacks, and Brandon Lang also had a strong showing, collecting three tackles.