26-16, Bolts Lose; Macro/Micro Breakdown
The first of four–what a waste of time!–preseason games didn’t bestow volumes of knowedge, but the nationally televised matchup against a formidable foe gave us enough to chew on for the time being.
Coach Norval: The Chargers looked motivated, organized and competitive, but not a Super Bowl contender. The tempo the team played at was that of a playoff contender, but the Bolts were penalized 8 times and gave up 5 sacks!
Uniforms: the uni’s looked sharp, even slightly intimidating on a speed level.
LT remained in street threads for the game, which was and is a great move. LT shouldn’t suit up at all until the Bears come to town. He doesn’t need game reps, he gets plenty of solid reps in practice, and it’s not worth risking an injury in a preseason game just so he can get a few carries in the new uniform.
Offense: the amount of different formations that Norv had on the field produced at times and showed unwieldy at others.
- the 3 WR, offset I formation proved to be effective for the bootleg plays and short passing.. look for this formation to be a “bread and butter” look for the O
- the 3 WR bunch formation, which has become an NFL staple over the past few seasons, will be an effective formation when Craig Davis is on the field (as we saw with his first catch); this formation requires speed, as it involves shallow routes which receivers must get separation quickly in man coverage or Rivers must read the zone properly in any zone schemes
- Darren Sproles: 134 total yards on 13 touches! 10 yards per Sproles touch! I would argue this was the brightest part of this preseason game. Sproles had a huge impact on 3rd down and special teams — two of the most integral pieces of a team’s success, especially come playoff time — look for Sproles to be a key piece of a successful season
Defense: In the only true first-team action, the Seahawks drove 79 yards in 8 plays, unimpeded, and scored on a 31-yard TD pass from Hasselbeck to Deion Branch–not what anyone wanted to see.
- Eric Weddle – Weddle’s one INT proved to be essential, as it stopped a possible scoring drive inside the Charger 35 yard line
McCree/Jammer – it appeared that Marlon got caught watching Hasselbeck’s eyes on this play, and lost a feel for where the endzone was, as he got beat over the top by Deion Branch…although Quentin never so much as touched Branch, so I can’t say he bumped him into McCree’s zone with the best deterrence in mind… looked like another lack-luster effort by prima donna DB’s
the run D wasn’t truly tested, as Shaun Alexander hung out on the sidelines for the entirety of the game after Branch’s TD, but the run D looked formidable against Maurice Morris and co., giving up 107 yards total on the ground
Game-Hi: Sproles production – could be a key ingredient for many victories
Game-Lo: 5 TO, 8 penalties – that’s not Super Bowl play