Yes, the Chargers lost their third preseason game, but as always, we don't care.
Here are some takeaways:
**The Chargers seemed to escape without any serious injuries. There was a scare in the second quarter, when it appeared quarterback Philip Rivers may have jammed his finger, but all signs point to him being alright. Linebacker Jerry Attaochu also seemed to have injured his leg in the first half, but stood on the sideline with it wrapped in ice for the second half of the game -- an indication that whatever it is, it's hopefully not too major.
**Wide receiver Stevie Johnson finished the game with four catches for 63-yards, finally showing in a game what he and Rivers have shown in practice. Johnson hasn't been used much this preseason, so it was nice to see the connection between him and Rivers .... And if preseason is any indication of the real thing, Johnson could have a very special year now that he finally has an "elite" quarterback throwing to him.
**Defense, defense, defense. We've seen it all preseason -- the defense is flying around, pressuring the quarterback and finding the ball. The Seahawks went 0-4 on third down in the first half. Again, if the preseason is any indication, this *could* be the year we see the defense make the jump it's been lacking the last few years. For me, it's still too early to anoint them as a dominant defense. They need to stay healthy and prove they can be physical and consistent. But, it's a good sign that they've been wreaking havoc on their opponents. Players who had a good game yesterday include Jimmy Wilson, Jahleel Addae, Melvin Ingram, Donald Butler and Kyle Emanuel, among others. Not too shabby.
**Branden Oliver. The running back, who shook off 'Hawks to rush for a 70-yard touchdown in the second half of the game, looks even more explosive, physical and confident than he did as a rookie.
**The run game in general seems lacking. The starters averaged 2.6 yards per carry in the first half. The run game has been a point of emphasis for San Diego this preseason, and it has yet to be dominant.
**The offensive line is still being watched cautiously. Yes, left guard Orlando Franklin didn't play, but still, the line got pushed around. There are points it looks just fine, and points it looks like Rivers will be on his back for most of the season. It's inconclusive.
**Melvin Gordon is also still inconclusive. I have a hard time judging him harshly, as he's just a rookie and he's got big expectations on his shoulders. He had some good and some bad against the Seahawks, finishing with 14 carries for 34 yards (and notching his first NFL catches -- two for seven yards). There was still some hesitancy on some snaps, but there were also more flashes of decisiveness. He looked uncomfortable in pass protection (and gave up a sack) but to be fair, veteran RB Danny Woodhead gave up the other sack. That's communication stuff that needs to get fixed (quick) but should improve. As for Gordon, we still have to wait and see.