Ugly game results in Seahawks loss

Many around the NFL consider the third preseason game a "dress rehearsal" for the regular season, but Seattle's game against the San Diego Chargers on Saturday night was anything but smooth. Penalties, turnovers and missed assignments ruled the day as the Seahawks lost to the Chargers 31-20 at Qualcomm Stadium.

Seattle got off to a quick start when San Diego QB Phillip Rivers fumbled as he was pulling away from center on the first play of the game and DT Rocky Bernard, seeing his first action of the preseason, recovered the ball in the endzone, staking Seattle to a quick 7-0 lead.

The Seahawks defense benefited on the next series from another quarterback-center exchange, as Rivers never got the ball from C Nick Hardwick. LB Leroy Hill recovered the ball on the Chargers' 30-yard line and finally, the offense was able to take the field.

QB Matt Hasselbeck and the offense moved the ball down the field and RB Shaun Alexander took it in a draw play from nine yards out to give the Seahawks a 14-0 lead. On the play, Alexander took the handoff, slid to his right and then outraced San Diego S Marlon McCree for the touchdown.

With Seattle looking like they were headed to a rout of their hosts, Rivers and the Chargers offense got to work quickly on their third possession.

CB Cletis Jordann took the ensuing kickoff back 37 yards to the Chargers' 36 and then Rivers hit RB Michael Turner with a short screen-pass to the left. Turner scampered 24 yards before being brought down from behind by Lofa Tatupu at the Seattle 38.

The ensuing play saw Turner take a draw to the left side of the line. He made one cut inside an occupied Hill and a blitzing Ken Hamlin and then raced 38 yards for the touchdown bringing San Diego within seven.

Toward the end of the first quarter, Chargers LB Shawne Merriman displayed the athleticism and sheer will that made him the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2005 when he dropped back 15-yards into coverage, tipped Hasselbeck's pass to WR Maurice Mann and then intercepted the pass as he was falling to the ground.

The Chargers made quick work of Seattle's defense on the next possession as Rivers threw to WR Malcom Floyd even though S Ken Hamlin had tight coverage. That coverage proved to be too tight as Hamlin was whistled for interference in the back of the endzone giving the Chargers the ball at the Seattle one.

Three plays later, Turner bulled his way over the left side and San Diego had tied the score at 14 all.

After K Nate Kaeding hit a 27-yard field goal to give the Chargers a 17-14 lead, it was time for Seattle's NFL best pass-rush to pin its ears back and get some pressure.

DT Craig Terrill, one of Seattle's most underrated players, beat G Mike Goff around the edge to sack Rivers and pop the ball loose. Rookie DE Darryl Tapp recovered at the Seattle 45, but the offense was unable to do anything with the excellent field position as WR Peter Warrick dropped a sure first down completion from second-string QB Seneca Wallace and RB Maurice Morris lost his footing on third down.

With the ball spotted at the San Diego 36, K Josh Brown came on to attempt a 54-yarder, but, for the second time this preseason, Brown hit a low kick that hooked far to the left. It appears that rookie P Ryan Plackemeier, the holder on Brown's two misses this preseason, and Brown are not on the same page.

Plackmeier was replaced later by P Gabe Lindstrom on Brown's field goal attempts later in the game.

As San Diego took over in excellent field position with over a minute left on the clock, Seahawks DE Grant Wistrom, on a stunt to the inside, sacked Rivers to nullify any threat right before halftime.

On the opening possession of the second-half, Seattle took the ball, following a 34-yard scamper by Morris to the Chargers' 27, and got a 34-yard field goal from Brown to tie the score at 17-17.

After the teams traded turnovers – a Morris fumble that was recovered by Carlos Polk and an interception by S Shaunard Harts off of Chargers rookie QB Charlie Whitehurst – Brown came on to hit a 28-yard field goal to put Seattle up by six, 20-17.

Whitehurst guided the Chargers on the best drive of the night when he managed drive the offense 68 yards on 14 plays eating up 7:22 seconds ending in a Ray Perkins 12-yard run up the middle. Perkins finished the night with 83 yards on 20 carries and the one touchdown.

After Seattle could do nothing with their next possession, veteran QB A.J. Feeley came on to throw a 33-yard pass to WR Ryan Krause who got behind he defense for the final score of the evening making the score 31-20.

Seattle now heads back home to finish the preseason next week when the take on the Oakland Raiders on Thursday August 31st at Qwest Field.

SeahawkFootball.com Top Stories