Seattle Seahawks vs. San Diego Chargers: Analysis of the First Half of Football
The start of the 2011 NFL preseason is now under way.
While I haven't been a big fan of Tarvaris Jackson, he has showed some flashes of brilliance. Completing a couple solid passes and even running for a gain.
However, he showed some immaturity early in the first quarter by throwing the ball away as he was getting tackled by Chargers defensive end Luis Castillo, which resulted in an intentional grounding penalty.
The Seahawks were forced to punt and pinned the Chargers deep in their own zone.
Enter Pro-Bowl quarterback Philip Rivers.
One thing the Chargers don't have to worry about is the passing game. Rivers connected on passed to Vincent Jackson (it was really nice to have him back) and tight end Kory Sperry (who is vying for the third tight end spot) to drive the Chargers down the field.
The Chargers running game looked stagnant. Running back Mike Tolbert had been stopped in the backfield twice and Ryan Mathews has yet to impress me. Mathews (who is suffering from an strained upper leg muscle) better get it together or it will be a long season for the Chargers rushing offense.
To cap off an impressive 95-yard drive focused on the aerial attack, Rivers found running back Mike Tolbert for a leaping 5-yard touchdown.
Rivers was 5-for-6 for 87 yards and a touchdown. Not bad for playing only one offensive series. He looked as solid as he did last season and could make a run at Dan Marino's single-season passing record.
Philip Rivers wasn't the only player to impress.
Rookies who are trying to make the Chargers roster looked very good!
With time running down in the first quarter, rookie linebacker Darryl Gamble broke through the Seattle offensive line and let Tavaris Jackson know what the turf at Qualcomm Stadium really feels like. Gamble was all over the field making great tackles and breaking up passes.
Chargers first-round draft pick Corey Liuget looked good, and I believe he will make a instant impact with the first-team defense.
Rookie running back Jordan Todman (who is looking to capture the third running back spot) showed impressive hands and quick feet. I wouldn't be surprise if Todman challenges Mathews for the first-team running back spot.
Tight end Kory Sperry, (who made me a believer during the Chargers evening practice at Qualcomm Stadium) showed impressive catching ability and would provide depth at tight end with the uncertain health status of Antonio Gates.
With the first half of the Chargers preseason opener in the books, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the game unfolds as rookies, undrafted free agents and former practice-squad players fight for a spot on the Chargers 53-man roster.
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