The Los Angeles Chargers dropped their preaseason opener to the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday night.
The results of the games in the preseason are not what the coaches are evaluating, it’s the performance of the players. There was plenty of good and maybe not so good in this game.
If they want the good, they can go back and watch the first-team offense go up and down the field on Arizona, without Philip Rivers. Though Austin Ekeler coughed up a fumble as the Chargers were going in for a score on their first possession, the Bolts got the ball back and found the end zone on a 4-yard touchdown run by Justin Jackson.
Tyrod Taylor showed great command of the offense and made some good throws.
But the story of the night for Chargers fans was probably Easton Stick. The fifth-round pick was finally able to show fans what he could do on the field and like with any rookie, you have to take the bad with the good.
The bad was a terrible interception he threw late in the third quarter on a pass intended for Jordan Smallwood. The only problem was that Tyler Sigler of Arizona was right in the passing lane and Stick seemingly didn’t see him, throwing the ball right to him. Sigler returned the interception 52 yards the other way.
But Stick seemed to settle down a bit after that and he made some precise throws. But where he really made a difference was in the area many fans suspected he would, with his legs. Stick ran two times for 51 yards including a 31-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter in which he zig-zagged through the defense on his way to the end zone.
Passing the ball, Stick completed seven of his 11 attempts for 78 yards. He accounted for 129 yards of offense in just over one quarter of play. The Chargers used Cardale Jones before turning to Stick, but Jones was highly ineffective. He completed 4-of-6 passes for 47 yards.
Realistically, Stick should have the competition for the team’s No. 3 quarterback wrapped up by this point, but the Chargers will likely hold off on making that official.
The game was ugly and the Cardinals left with a 17-13 victory, but the Chargers had to be quite happy with what they saw out of Stick.