Chargers lose preseason opener, 10-7

The frozen tundra was the wet tundra on Thursday. Chargers kicker Nate Kaeding missed three kicks in the final six minutes with the game tied at seven. After his final kick sailed wide right, Packers placekicker Ryan Longwell came on to try from 53 yards out with 38 seconds to go and nailed it to give Green Bay a 10-7 victory.

In the fourth quarter, Cleo Lemon did what he did best. He aired it out to Carl Morris on the left sidelines. The throw was short but the coverage was terrible as Morris corralled the ball X yards down the field. Lemon followed it up by delivering a ball to Ruvell Martin that was originally ruled a touchdown but overruled after instant replay. Nate Kaeding had his first in-game kick since missing the potential winner against the Jets and flubbed a 45-yard kick wide left.

The tide turned quickly when Packers quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan tried to hand off to Walt Williams but Williams did not look like he expected it. Shaun Phillips jumped on the ball at the Green Bay 27. Kaeding got his chance at redemption but missed from 44 yards out, this one wide right.

The Chargers got it back quickly when Robert Pollard hit Joey Harris to cause another fumble which Gabe Franklin sat on. After going three and out, Nate Kaeding had his third chance to put the Bolts in the lead – from 46 yards out. He had the distance but it sailed wide right.

The Chargers started off fast on their first series with Michael Turner going 17 on his first carry of the game. Drew Brees then hit Darren Sproles on a crossing route for 20-yards, creating separation on the defense to gain some extra yardage after the catch.

Second down and eight to go, Drew Brees pump-faked and went deep. He tossed the ball into the end zone – but no Charger was within ten yards of the throw and it was picked off by Nick Collins.

After the Chargers decided against kicking a 52-yard field goal in the second quarter, Green Bay marched down to the 39-yard line. A fourth down conversion from that spot put the Packers inside the Chargers 30. The 12-play drive was then capped off when Brett Favre hit a tightly covered Donald Driver in the end zone (Sammy Davis had a hand on the ball) to put the Packers up 7-0.

The Chargers had a chance for one last play before the half in which they would have liked to kick a field goal from 45 yards out but the team lined up three yards further downfield than the ball was to be spotted because quarterback Philip Rivers slid and wanted to setup where he finished his slide rather than where he began the slide. The referee originally tried to spot the ball at where San Diego lined up but the official mark was three yards back. It forced the Chargers to reset the line and as they did time ran out. The original spotting of the ball cost a few seconds, as did resetting the line. There was 12 seconds on the clock when the original play ended.

With pressure bearing down on Rivers, he stood in the pocket and zoomed a laser into Willie Quinnie running a post pattern for a 34-yard touchdown to tie the game. The drive was setup by two nice runs from Michael Turner for 28 yards combined and a key third and nine reception for a first down by Greg Camarillo.


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