Chargers end preseason winless: Takeaways from loss to Saints

The Chargers’ concluded the 2022 preseason with a 27-10 loss Friday in New Orleans.

They dropped all three of their games in August, which means nothing since very few of their starters played.

The Chargers now open the regular season Sept. 11 against Las Vegas at SoFi Stadium before visiting Kansas City four days later for a Thursday night game.

Here are some observations from the Chargers’ preseason finale:

  • Unlike the Chargers, the Saints played several of their starters, including quarterback Jameis Winston and running back Alvin Kamara on offense and edge rusher Cameron Jordan and safety Tyrann Mathieu on defense.
  • The Chargers’ defensive starters were DL Breiden Fehoko, DL Christian Covington, edge rusher Emeke Egbule, edge rusher Jamal Davis II, LB Nick Niemann, LB Troy Reeder, CB Kemon Hall, CB Brandon Sebastian, CB Ja’Sir Taylor, S Raheem Layne and S J.T. Woods.
  • Unsurprisingly — given the disparity in talent and experience — Winston and the New Orleans offense went 75 yards in nine plays to score the game’s first touchdown on the opening drive.
  • Storm Norton started at left tackle as the Chargers continue to prepare him to be their swing tackle to open the season. He and Trey Pipkins III battled for the No. 1 job at right tackle, with Pipkins winning out. Pipkins also started Friday. Norton was called for holding on the Chargers’ second drive.
  • The rest of the Chargers’ offensive starters were QB Chase Daniel, RB Larry Rountree III, FB Zander Horvath, WR DeAndre Carter, WR Jalen Guyton, TE Tre’ McKitty, LG Brenden Jaimes, C Will Clapp and RG Zion Johnson.
  • Joshua Kelley made the strongest case yet to be Austin Ekeler’s primary backup entering Week 1. He carried six times for 40 yards before leaving the game after two quarters. Kelley’s production included a hurdle of safety Marcus Maye on 15-yard gain to open the second quarter. The spectacular, highlight effort converted a third-and-14 as the Chargers’ put together their first scoring drive. The run also was the longest of the preseason by a Chargers’ running back. Entering Friday, the team’s two longest runs had come from quarterbacks Daniel (22 yards) and Easton Stick (25 yards). Kelley, Larry Rountree III and Isaiah Spiller battled throughout training camp for the second running back spot. Spiller is now dealing with an ankle injury, coach Brandon Staley saying this week he might not be ready for the start of the season.
Chargers wide receiver Trevon Bradford is tackled by three Saints players.

Chargers wide receiver Trevon Bradford, center, is tackled by New Orleans Saints cornerback DaMarcus Fields (39), linebacker Zack Baun (53) and defensive tackle Josh Black (57) during the second half of a 27-10 preseason loss Friday.

(Butch Dill / Associated Press)

  • J.T. Woods had an opportunity to tackle Mark Ingram II for a loss on New Orleans’ second drive but couldn’t make the stop. Ingram scored on a two-yard run on the next play. Tackling has been an issue for Woods in his first season. A third-round pick in April, Woods is trying to earn the trust of the coaching staff, his ability to be a reliable tackler a major part of the equation. Woods had another missed tackle in the second quarter when he failed to bring down wide receiver Marquez Callaway on third down. The Saints still came up short and had to punt.
  • Fehoko has made a major push to earn a roster spot on the defensive line. His highlights Friday included a tackle for a three-yard loss on a second-quarter run by Tony Jones Jr. The Chargers could opt to keep Fehoko over Covington, a veteran who played extensively throughout the preseason.
  • Daniel played the first half and finished 10 of 11 for 113 yards and a 109.5 rating. Stick replaced him and went nine of 17 for 74 yards. Daniel will open the season as Justin Herbert’s backup. Stick is expected to make the 53-man roster.
  • Hall left the game late in the first half after hitting the back of his head on the turf.
  • Wide receiver Joe Reed was dressed for the game but did not play.
  • NFL teams must reduce their rosters to 53 players at 1 p.m. PT Tuesday. The Chargers are expected to start making moves as early as Sunday.

Jeff Miller reported from Los Angeles.

Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.