Sep 14, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (13) dives for more yards as Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) moves to to make the stop on a second quarter pass play at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
As a native San Diegan and lifelong Chargers fan now living in the Seattle, WA area, I have caught myself turning a shade of green (no pun intended) with envy at the success of the Seahawks in recent years. I have also had to hear it from my wife and in-laws who bleed blue and neon green. But because I have to listen to Seattle sports radio and go to restaurants in the area, I have gotten to know the Chargers’ opponent on Saturday in what is pretty much the most important preseason game.
So what should the Chargers expect from the Seattle Seahawks? What should we look for to decipher if our Bolts are among the elite in the NFL. Now, I know it’s still preseason so the results may be murky, but it is still worth a look.
Here are 3 things to look for when the Chargers host the Seahawks on Saturday night.
Keenan Allen vs. Richard Sherman Vol. 2
We saw what happened early last season when the Chargers beat the Seahawks in San Diego 30-21. Keenan Allen supposedly “exposed” the Seahawks All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman. He caught 5 passes for 55 yards. On a few plays he darted in front of Sherman to make some grabs.
Sherman made 6 tackles in that game. I don’t think Allen exposed him but he did have a better game than most. The two did some ribbing after that game on social media and in interviews. It will be interesting to see round 2. Sherman has been battling a hip injury that limited his action last week but he should be good to go.
Chargers Pass Defense vs. Jimmy Graham
Everyone in Seattle is drooling over their shiny new toy on offense. The 6’7″ 265-pound Graham will be a force to be reckoned with this season. Russell Wilson should have little trouble in the red zone this year as long as Graham is on the field. The thing about him is he doesn’t even have to be thrown to in order to affect the defensive scheme.
As long as he is on the field, the Chargers must account for him and perhaps neglect another aspect they should focus on. Eric Weddle seems to be the one that will line up against him mostly. The Bolts have some guys that could He has had two 1,000 yard seasons in the last four years. He has 26 touchdowns in the last two years.
Chargers Run Game vs. Seahawks Front 7
It is no secret that the Seahawks have an elite defense. It is not just the Legion of Boom that makes that defense great, it also is because of their front 7. The three linebackers, K.J. Wright, Bobby Wagner and Bruce Irvin are mean and technically sound. This will be a good test for a San Diego run game that is trying to find itself with their new back, Melvin Gordon.
Gordon has been banged up a bit during the preseason and only has 6 carries for 11 yards. He should be good to go this week. This will be a great test for him and for the Chargers offensive line. They are trying to develop a rhythm to get Gordon some holes to run through. D.J. Fluker is learning on the go at right guard.
The preseason is about getting better and finding out how deep your team can be. Facing the two-time defending NFC champs will aid in the progression of this team. The Chargers seem to play the Seahawks well lately. I think Saturday will be much of the same, a tightly contested game.
Prediction: Seahawks 24 Chargers 21