Game Preview: Seahawks at Chargers

<i>Game preview provided courtesy of Seahawks.NET</i><br><br>The Seahawks (1-1) head south to face off against the San Diego Chargers (1-1) in game three of the preseason.

What: Preseason Game #3
When: Friday, August 27th, 7:05 (PST)
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

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Chargers Key Players:

QB Drew Brees: Even though the Chargers acquired Phillip Rivers in the first round of April's draft Brees is still the starter, basically by default. Rivers just signed his contract this week and Brees has actually been impressive in the Chargers' two preseason games hitting 69% of his passes for 328 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Brees is the likely starter this season while Rivers acclimates to the pro game.

RB LaDainian Tomlinson: Tomlinson has yet to play in the preseason, preplanned by head coach Marty Schottenheimer, but he is expected to play a few series this week. Tomlinson is arguably the best back in the NFL, running for 1,645 yards and 13 touchdowns and catching 100 passes (yes, you read that right) for 725 yards and four more touchdowns in 2003. He runs well between the tackles but his quick burst to the corner allows him to get outside for bigger plays.

LB Donnie Edwards: Edwards was one of the only bright spots in an unforgettable season for the Chargers in 2003. He accounted for 162 tackles, half a sack, two interceptions, a forced fumble and nine passes defensed. He flies to the ball and tracks down plays from sideline-to-sideline. He is the emotional leader of the defense and his presence allows defensive coordinator Wade Phillips to work on different blitz packages. He is also the man who makes all of the calls and adjustments on defense making sure everyone is lined up correctly.

CB Quentin Jammer: Jammer was drafted by the Chargers in 2002 to become the shut-down corner they have lacked and after a lengthy holdout that lasted into the season he went to work to earn that title. In 2003, Jammer played solidly all season, leading the Chargers with 13 passes defensed and four interceptions while finishing with 71 tackles. He is big enough and strong enough to run with any wideout in the league and now that he is entering his third season the team is expecting him to close off one side of the field to opposing defenses.

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Key Matchups:

Seahawks wideouts vs. Chargers secondary: Wide receivers Darrell Jackson, Matt Hasselbeck to have a better night against the young, up-and-coming Charger secondary. Jammer, CB Sammy Davis, and safeties Terrence Kiel and Jerry Wilson are ballhawks who can cover all over the field. Both units will play at least into the third quarter so this should be a good battle.

Tomlinson vs. Seahawks front-seven: With DT Marcus Tubbs nursing a sore hamstring the Seahawks front-seven was run on by the Broncos last week the entire game. Now with OLB Chad Brown out this unit will be tested even more. Look for DTs Cedric Woodard and Rashad Moore to clog the middle and allow the linebackers to flow to Tomlinson.

Chargers TE Antonio Gates vs. Seahawks S Michael Boulware: Boulware has had an excellent last two weeks of training camp and, according to his coaches, played well against the Broncos last week. As a college linebacker he was widely considered to be a great cover man and Gates will be a good test for his coverage skills. Last season Gates caught 24 passes for 389 yards and two touchdowns. He can stretch the deep middle of the field and if Boulware is unable to cover him he could hurt the Hawks defense all night long.

Seahawks RB Shaun Alexander vs. Edwards: Edwards makes plays all over the field and he specializes in stuffing the run. Alexander has been working on hitting the hole quicker this preseason and beating Edwards to the hole is a key to being successful.

Seahawks vs. their press clippings: Head coach Mike Holmgren said following last weeks lackluster performance against Denver that he was disappointed with lack of intensity of his players. He even went as far as to say that the team needs to quit reading all that is being written about them and focus on the task at hand. This game, against a far inferior opponent, will be a good test for the Hawks to see if they can get emotionally prepared for a game that doesn't matter in the standings.

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News and Notes: Seahawks hold a 3-2 lead in the series versus the Chargers in preseason; The Chargers are the only AFC West team that the Seahawks have a winning record against (25-22 all-time) during regular season play; Friday night will mark the Chargers 16th Annual Salute to the Military, honoring the more than 100,000 enlisted military personnel who live and work in San Diego. More than 3,000 tickets to the game are being distributed to San Diego military personnel and their families.

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Injuries:

San Diego: CB Sammy Davis Concussion (Questionable); TE Antonio Gates Ankle (Questionable); DE DeQuincy Scott Back (Out); DT Ryon Bingham Biceps (Out); RB LaDainian Tomlinson Leg (Probable); QB Doug Flutie Knee (Probable); LB Donnie Edwards Calf (Questionable); OT Chad Ward Back (Questionable); WR Tim Dwight Hamstring (Ques)

Seattle: CB Kris Richard Ankle (Questionable); OT Chris Terry Shoulder (Questionable); DT Marcus Tubbs Hamstring (Questionable); LB Chad Brown Leg (Out); LB D.D. Lewis Shoulder (Doubtful); DE Grant Wistrom Foot (Out); QB Brock Huard Back (Out); QB Trent Dilfer Back (Questionable)

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Prediction: Seahawks 24 – Chargers 14


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