Sunday Wrap

The talk was, and will be, about Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy and other unfortunate situations. On Sunday, it was also about a run of minor to serious injuries to some really key players, with Robert Griffin III leading that list in notability and severity.

But out on the West Coast, it was about an outstanding football game played by a very good team. And that team was not the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, who suddenly look more vulnerable than they did on the NFL's opening night.

"It was nice to knock them off their pedestal, in a sense," San Diego Chargers safety Eric Weddle told FOX Sports by phone, a few hours after his team upset the Seahawks 30-21 at Qualcomm Stadium. "You know, bring them back to reality."

Reality set in for the Seahawks, who had been warned by coach Pete Carroll coming into the season they would be getting every team's best shot every week. From the fiery reactions of Philip Rivers, Danny Woodhead and others all game long, it was clear the Chargers were giving the Seahawks everything they could muster emotionally.

It's a problem that faces every defending champ, though Carroll's intensity and the self-motivation of players like Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman made it seem like Seattle would be less susceptible to an early-season letdown.

But maybe this wasn't a letdown. Maybe this Chargers team that gave the Denver Broncos some fits last year could be a strong contender this season. After dropping a disappointing game to the Arizona Cardinals last Monday, San Diego bounced back nicely by controlling the clock like it did in an upset in Denver last season (the Chargers held the ball for 42:15 of the game's 60 minutes on Sunday), bringing down Marshawn Lynch (only 36 yards on six carries), containing Percy Harvin (50 total yards from scrimmage, including a touchdown on which he should've been whistled for stepping out of bounds) and doing just enough to throw off Wilson, even if the diminutive quarterback played well (17 of 25 for 202 yards and two touchdowns) for the most part.

"Keep Russell in the pocket, make him a one-to-two-to-three progression guy because we feel he's not very good when he does that," Weddle said. "I'm not saying he's not a great quarterback; he is. But he makes so many big plays when he runs around and extends plays. That's where we felt he was an outstanding quarterback, not when he's a three-step, five-step, seven-step guy and gets the ball out. Thats' where we felt we could take advantage.

"So a lot of the game plan was to obviously pressure him the right way, keep him in the pocket and if he did get out, we'd have a spy on him, whether it was myself or other guys."

Offensively, Antonio Gates turned back the clock a few years with his three touchdowns and Rivers had one of his best games — only the fourth time in his career he completed more than 75 percent of his passes (75.7 percent, to be exact) with at least three touchdowns against zero interceptions.

Considering the talent on this team and the confidence of knowing they can hang with the two conference champions from last season, the Chargers could be a very dangerous squad.

"Actually, confidence isn't really lacking with this group. It's more consistency, it's more bringing it week in and week out," Weddle said. "There wasn't a doubt in anyone's mind that we could beat this team if we played the right way and played four quarters of it. It was unfortunate last week we just didn't finish. We came in Tuesday and did we feel sorry for ourselves? No, we got right into Seattle.

"It helps us for the long haul, but ultimately consistency is our issue and we'll see how we react against Buffalo because we can't follow up a big win and not play well."

To read more on the Seahawks' loss to the Chargers, visit FOXSports.com


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