Chargers Drop Opener

The San Diego Chargers kicked off the 2007 season on a sour note, falling to the visiting Seattle Seahawks, 24-16. The game ended as sloppily as it began for the Chargers, as dropped passes, untimely penalties and defensive breakdowns did in the home team. The Chargers have a short week to rebound; they face the St. Louis Rams on Saturday.

Philip Rivers played two series, finishing 5-of-7 for 71 yards. Were it not for an outright drop by Malcom Floyd on a deep pass in the second series, those numbers would have been even better. However, Floyd redeemed himself by leading the team with five catches for 65 yards and the team's only touchdown.

Floyd was not the only youngster to shine on offense. Third-year running back Darren Sproles was electrifying, averaging 9 yards on 11 touches from scrimmage. Rookies Scott Chandler and Legedu Naanee each caught four passes, amassing for 47 and 44 yards, respectively.

Unfortunately, the rest of the offense was not so productive. The Chargers gave up five sacks and turned the ball over three times. Also, the Bolts failed to convert on a fourth-and-1 midway through the first quarter, when a predictable quick-hitter to Lorenzo Neal came up short.

The defensive secondary was predictable as well, with communication breakdowns throughout the contest. Marlon McCree was beaten deep by Deion Branch for the game's first points. Later, Cletis Gordon lost track of Ben Obomanu and gave up 38 yards in the process.

Rookie Eric Weddle did his best to redeem the sorry unit, intercepting Seneca Wallace early in the second quarter. Weddle was impressive in extended playing time, although he sprained his ankle late in the game.

The front seven hardly fared better, allowing more than 3.8 yards per carry on 28 attempts. However, there were some standout performers. Derreck Robinson had two tackles and a sack; Carlos Polk paced the team with six solo tackles; and rookie linebackers Jyles Tucker and Nick Roach were all over the field on both defense and special teams, although Tucker left early with a concussion.

In the kicking game, Nate Kaeding and Mike Scifres were both in midseason form. Kaeding connected on all three of his field goal attempts, including a 50-yarder to put the Chargers up by nine. Scifres punted twice, sending one kick 56 yards and landing the other inside the 20-yard line.

The Chargers now have just a few practices to get ready Saturday's road game against the St. Louis Rams. Head Coach Norv Turner will be harping on disciple in the interim, as the Chargers were flagged eight times for 45 yards against the Seahawks.


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