The Los Angeles Chargers hosted their final home game of the preseason, although it seemed more like an away game with the crowd filled with red. It was clear that the majority of the fans were not there to support the Chargers. Regardless, there were great plays from both sides that created an electric atmosphere.
San Fransisco got on the board first, with a sack for a safety early in the game. Right Tackle Trey Pipkins allowed edge rusher Jordan Willis to cobble up quarterback Easton Stick within seconds.
The Chargers responded with a touchdown and later a field goal to take a 10-2 lead. Stick found Josh Palmer in the back of the endzone to go up 7-3, then Michael Badgley nailed a 50-yarder with 57 seconds left in the half. The 49ers did complete a touchdown drive in less than 40 seconds to bring the score to 10-8 at halftime.
That would be the last score of the game for the Chargers, as Trey Lance would find former Charger Travis Benjamin for a 16-yard touchdown to take a 15-10 lead.
The defense picked off Jimmy Garoppolo and Lance in the first half. Despite the loss, some Chargers players stood out during the game.
Takeaways from Los Angeles Chargers Preseason Loss
The overall performance of the Chargers’ offense was not great. Only two drives in the entire game led to points, and the running game was nonexistent. The longest run of the night was 11 yards from Easton Stick, as the o-line had troubles holding their blocks. Guards Matt Feiler and Oday Aboushi, and receiver Jalen Guyton, were the only starters to play on offense, although they didn’t get a ton of reps.
Easton Stick – Stick played the entire first half and finished 10-14 with 85 yards and a touchdown. He got sacked early for a safety, but bounced back and played out a solid first half. He completed many good throws and ended with a 110.7 QBR. The defense did their homework and realized his speed. On the touchdown play, he escaped the pressure and ran out to the right as if he would run, but threw to an open Josh Palmer in the back of the end zone. About four defenders fell for the pump fake.
Josh Palmer – Palmer had just the one catch for three yards and the TD. His day was quiet, but shows he can make an impact after two preseason games.
The Los Angeles Chargers defense played well the entire game. Yes, they allowed two passing touchdowns from Lance, but the overall play was great. The defensive backs forced two interceptions on back-to-back possessions, keeping the momentum on their side for the time being. Linebackers Kenneth Murray Jr., Drue Tranquil and Kazir White all started Sunday night. They all made an impact on their short reps, showing that the linebacker position could be one to keep an eye on going forward.
Kenneth Murray Jr. – K9 is without a doubt one of the rising stars on defense in the NFL. His elite speed is similar to Colts’ linebacker Darius Leonard, and he is only 22 years old. Murray finished with three solo tackles in the game, with four tackles total.
Asante Samuel Jr. – The second-round pick continues to shine during the preseason. He picked off Garoppolo for his second interception of the preseason already. Samuel also picked him off during practice this past Thursday. His awareness is above average and he finds himself near the ball almost every play. He provides great hands for a DB, which is a rare trait. Samuel could make a run at DROY if he continues this level of play.
Nick Niemann – Niemann has finished both games as the leading tackler on the team. He ended with eight, and five solo tackles. The rookie from Iowa seems to be the steal of the draft for the Chargers so far.
The next game for the Los Angeles Chargers is Saturday, August 28 at 7:00 p.m. It can be seen on NFL Network.