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American Football: Recap: Chargers vs Seahawks

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posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 08:43 AM
The Philip Rivers era in San Diego got off to a rousing start.

It didn't last long.

Philip Rivers completed his first three passes for 72 yards, but it all went downhill from there.

Rivers, the fourth overall pick in this year's NFL draft who ended his holdout earlier this week, completed his first three passes for 72 yards against Seattle on Friday night, drawing loud cheers from the crowd of 35,536 at Qualcomm Stadium.

But the rookie misfired on his next seven throws, two of which were intercepted, in the Seahawks' 26-20 exhibition victory over the Chargers.

"What Philip is finding is that it is a lot faster out here than what he is accustomed to," Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer said.

"Certainly I figured out that you can't make too many things happen too quickly," Rivers said. "I'm not necessarily pleased with how I performed, but I'm glad I put it behind me and got in to play. The more and more I play, the more enthusiasm you'll see."

Rivers said he hoped to be the starting quarterback on opening day.

"Yes, that's what I said in May, and that is what I said two days ago," he said. "I think that is the only way you can think about it. If I hit some bumps, I have to understand that is part of it and you have to correct it."

Matt Hasselbeck completed 18 of 28 passes for 190 yards and one touchdown, and Shaun Alexander gained 62 yards on 15 carries to lead the Seahawks (2-1).

"It's a good feeling -- we needed that win," Hasselbeck said.

The Seahawks were coming off a 19-3 loss to the Denver Broncos.

"It was exciting to see Matt throwing and the boys catching the balls and making plays," Alexander said. "That's what it takes for us to be a powerful offense, and we are getting there. We got into a little rhythm in the first half."

Rivers entered early in the second quarter with Seattle leading 10-0, and quickly moved the Chargers (1-2) from their 9-yard line to the Seattle 14.

For an instant, his fourth pass appeared to be good for a touchdown, but Joshua Norman couldn't hang on in the end zone.

That was just the beginning of Rivers' tough times.

He was sacked by Rocky Bernard, setting up a 39-yard field goal attempt by Mackenzie Hoambrecker. Anthony Simmons broke through to block the kick, pick it up and run 67 yards for a touchdown.

Rivers' sixth pass was intercepted by Marcus Trufant, who returned it 10 yards to the San Diego 25. Three plays later, Alexander ran 13 yards for a TD to make it 23-0.

Rivers also was intercepted by Ken Hamlin later in the second quarter in Seattle territory, but the Seahawks were unable to take advantage.

The Chargers were booed off the field at halftime.

Rivers, the second-leading passer in NCAA history at North Carolina State, wound up going 5-of-14 for 79 yards with the two interceptions. The Chargers acquired Rivers in a draft-day trade that sent Eli Manning to the New York Giants.

San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson played briefly in his preseason debut, gaining eight yards on two carries and catching one pass for 12 yards.

Drew Brees, who completed 24 of 35 passes for 328 yards with one interception in the first two preseason games, was picked off by Ken Lucas on the first play of this game.

Lucas returned the interception 44 yards for a touchdown, but an illegal block nullified the score. However, the Seahawks needed only three plays to move 15 yards, scoring on Hasselbeck's 4-yard pass to Darrell Jackson.

Josh Brown's 52-yard field goal late in the first quarter gave the Seahawks a 10-0 lead.

San Diego scored its first points early in the third quarter when Terrence Kiel intercepted Hasselbeck's last pass of the game and returned it 63 yards for a touchdown. Brown kicked a 50-yard field goal later in the period to extend the Seahawks' lead to 26-7.

Doug Flutie threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Brock Edwards in the opening minute of the fourth quarter to cut Seattle's lead to 26-13, and the Chargers drew within six points on Wes Welker's 81-yard punt return with 10:02 remaining.

The Chargers reached the Seattle 26-yard line with four minutes left before Flutie fumbled and Seattle's Walter Bernard recovered. The 41-year-old Flutie, making his preseason debut, completed 8 of 12 passes for 99 yards.


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