Stick struggles in Chargers preseason loss to Saints, 22-17

Easton Stick couldn't follow up his strong week one performance against the New Orleans Saints.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Only one preseason game remains, as the Los Angeles Chargers just finished losing 22-17 to the New Orleans Saints at SoFi Stadium. Not even Hurricane Hilary could stop this game from happening.

There were some positives from the second game of the preseason from the Chargers, but also numerous mistakes.

Here are some takeaways from the loss:

Easton Stick struggles

The backup quarterback had a solid performance a week ago against the Rams, but this week was different.

Yes, he did have two rushing touchdowns. One coming on a brilliant two-minute drill in which he completed two passes for 39 yards plus had a 21-yard run to set up his six-yard rushing touchdown. 

He also had a quarterback sneak with 3:46 left in the 4th quarter, but he struggled.

He faced consistent pressure, but his decision-making was questionable, barring the two touchdown drive.

Before going on the two-minute offense before halftime, Stick rolled out to the left and had two receivers open, but Saints cornerback Isaac Diadem read him the whole way and picked off a pass intended for Keelan Doss.

Stick threw two interceptions and was sacked five times in the game, with two of them coming on the final offensive drive of the game.

The staff is high on Stick, but there should be a conversation about bringing in a veteran.

Spiller shows some juice

During the two-minute offense, Isaiah Spiller had a great 18-yard run. He is a player to watch this season; he has had two strong performances in a row in preseason.

“It’s competitive in our room,” running back Austin Ekeler said. “That’s what it comes down to in this league, as you know. You have to come out and earn your reps.”

Rookies show out

First-round pick Quentin Johnston had three catches for 37 yards while having a nice 16-yard in route.

Second-round pick Tuli Tuipulotu had a great win move on Trevor Penning to bring down Ellis Merriweather.

Third-round pick Daiyan Henley showed great instincts and played the run well. He finished the game with nine tackles with half a sack, in which he shot in and sacked Jameis Winston.

Other standouts

Safety J.T. Woods finished a strong week of practice with a good performance on Sunday. He did have a mistake on a screen pass to Lynn Bowden in which Woods took a bad angle, but he had a strong week.

Defensive tackle Jerrod Clark keeps shining. He kept getting consistent pressure on whomever the quarterback was while also being in numerous run-stopping plays. He has flashed. 

Tight end Stone Smartt shows off a unique skill set. He had four catches for 32 yards and has shown improvement from last season. He could be another weapon for this offense as he continues to grow.