The Chargers snapped their three-game win streak on Sunday when the Seattle Seahawks beat them 37-23. It seemed like the Chargers couldn’t get going in any phase of the game while Seattle jumped out to a 17-0 lead and never let up.
It felt similar to the loss to Jacksonville in week three. A veteran coach with a young team comes in and runs wild on offense while the defense slows down the high-powered offense.
Here are three takeaways from the Chargers loss:
- Chargers offense looked off once again.
The Chargers offense isn’t the Chargers offense that people are used to seeing. They are struggling to get up the field. It seemed like they could do it at will in 2021 but seem to be struggling to start the 2022 season.
Justin Herbert doesn’t look comfortable in the pocket, they couldn’t establish the run, and it is taking receivers longer periods to get open.
“We can continue to try and execute, get the ball moving early in the first quarter,” Herbert said on what they can do to avoid first-quarter deficits. “Just get the ball to those guys on the outside to make plays and just stay ahead of the chains.”
This offense hurts when Keenan Allen or Mike Williams isn’t in the game, and at one point, they didn’t have either player. Austin Ekeler had over 120 yards of total offense, and Williams had 86 yards receiving, with both scoring touchdowns. Outside of them, it was a tough performance all around.
They couldn’t establish the run because Seattle got out to a big lead, but due to the offensive line having trouble opening holes.
“I thought that we got beat up front,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said. “We couldn’t run the football. We didn’t protect the passer very well, so it’s going to be tough to move the ball and score points. That’s where it started today.”
Offensively they also gave up three big turnovers to start the game. They had a turnover on downs, an interception, and a fumble that led to 17 points for the Seahawks. Paying from behind the last three weeks was so challenging that they couldn’t make it four.
“It’s really hard to get momentum when you start the game like that,” Staley said. “We were able to fight our way back and get back into the game, but there’s a lot of energy that goes with that. Then, we just didn’t play a clean enough second half in any phase to create any momentum and to get the lead back. Just didn’t play well enough today in any phase.”
If Williams is going to be out for a significant amount of time, the offense may continue to struggle.
- Chargers defense gave them a chance but gave up big plays.
To start this off, Geno Smith only had seven incompletions and was only sacked twice. The pass rush didn’t affect Smith during the game. He had time to operate, so he did even though he didn’t have receiver D.K. Metcalf due to a knee injury for almost three quarters.
Smith spread the ball around, finding Will Dissly, Marquise Goodwin, and Tyler Lockett. Goodwin had four catches for 67 yards and two big touchdowns. Lockett was a third down target for Smith, whom the defense couldn’t find an answer for at times.
“A lot of self-inflicted mistakes, man,” defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day said. “That’s the hump we got to get past right now, man, we got to stop hurting ourselves, right? We have all the talent. We have all the people we need. Now it is just us to taking responsibility as a team, having pride in our performance and doing our job.”
The home run hitter for the Seahawks was running back Kenneth Walker III. He finished the game with 23 carries for 168 yards and two touchdowns, but the defense couldn’t slow him down, let alone stop him.
Walker was almost at a 100-yard performance before pulling out that 74-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. He is a very patient and elusive running back with a bright future in the NFL.
The Chargers defense couldn’t slow the pass or run game. Seattle gained 392 yards of offense while averaging 6.5 yards per play. The offense also went 4-for-8 on third down, so the defense couldn’t slow them down.
- Injuries are starting to mount.
The Chargers lost some players during the game on Sunday. Cornerback J.C. Jackson left the game after giving up a 23-yard touchdown to Marquise Goodwin in the second quarter. He left with an air cast on his leg and a towel on his head.
It has been a rough start to Jackson’s Chargers tenure.
In the fourth quarter, edge rusher Chris Rumph got hurt during a punt play and walked off needing help.
Later in the fourth, receiver Mike Williams was tackled after a 12-yard gain and screamed out in pain. His ankle was caught underneath the tackle. Williams wasn’t able to put any weight on it and was helped out by the trainers.
The Chargers bye week couldn’t have come at a more necessary time.
“Exactly what I told them is that we’re 4-3,” Staley explained. “The reality is that through seven games, we’ve had to fight really hard to be 4-3. We’ve endured a lot. Our season is in front of us, which is the truth. The reason why we’re 4-3, and not 5-2, is because we didn’t play good enough football today. We didn’t coach well enough today. What we need to do is get rested, take advantage of the bye and get rested, and then come back, as a team, and really focus on playing the way that we’re capable of playing. Today, certainly, was not it.”