Seahawks defense, rally falls short as team loses to Chargers


Philip Rivers threw for 284 yards and a trio of touchdowns, all to Antonio Gates, and the San Diego Chargers beat the Seattle Seahawks in Southern California, 30-21, on a hot Sunday afternoon in Week 2.

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The city of San Diego is typically the home of beautiful weather this time of year, but a Southern California heatwave made the game a battle of who could stay hydrated the longest.

Or at least, it was supposed to be a battle.

Temperatures on the field reached 120 degrees Fahrenheit at one point, and though the Chargers showed they could handle it, Seattle looked like they had no idea how to react to the weather.

Multiple players cramped up, including Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas, both of whom were taken to the locker room to stretch out.

Seattle’s defense looked drained and tired from the beginning of the game and it consequently dug the team a deep hole which they spent the rest of the game trying to climb out of.

The Chargers put together an eight-minute drive on their first possession, using 14 plays to eat up 48 yards, but the Seahawks held them to three points after Nick Novak booted a 50-yarder with less than three minutes left in the opening period.

The Seahawks countered quickly, when Percy Harvin took a screen pass 51 yards for a touchdown. Replays later showed that Harvin stepped out of bounds on the play down the far sideline, but Seattle kicked the extra point before the play could be reviewed and the play stood.

With a 7-3 lead, the Seahawks defense entered the second quarter against a Chargers offense that was ready for business.

San Diego put together 17 unanswered points in the quarter, courtesy of two Rivers to Gates touchdowns and another Novak field goal.

Seattle’s defense, which is normally so consistently dominant, looked tired, beat and frustrated. It looked dominated.

Down 20-7 with a minute left in the half, Russell Wilson and Robert Turbin teamed up to lead a five-play, 69-yard touchdown drive that lasted just 52 seconds. It was capped with a Wilson-Turbin 3-yard touchdown pass that ended the half on a positive note for the Seahawks who, despite being outplayed nearly the entire half, were only down 20-14 at the break.

In the third quarter, Gates caught his third touchdown pass of the game, just the third time he has done that in his illustrious decade-long career. That score capped another long drive for San Diego, which lasted 12 plays and more than six minutes. Gates finished the contest with seven catches for 96 yards.

But Seattle countered once more late in the period, when Marshawn Lynch caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to make it a 27-21 game in San Diego’s favor at the end of the third.

A late comeback bid by the Seahawks fell short multiple times in the fourth quarter. The team had the ball three times in their own territory, but failed to put points on the board and ultimately lost the game, 30-21.

The Chargers offense dominated the possession game and were outstanding on third downs. The offense held the ball for 42:11 and were 10-for-17 on third downs. In contrast, the Seahawks had the ball for 17: 29 and only converted three of their eight third downs.

Seattle was also docked for seven penalties that put them back 48 yards. San Diego had six penalties for 53 yards.

Wilson finished the game 17-for-25 for 202 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Lynch and Harvin became almost non-factors, combining for 81 rushing yards on just eight carries.

Bobby Wagner led the team in tackles for the second time this year, with 10 total tackles.

The Seahawks hadn’t lost by more than seven points since 2011, when they lost to the Dallas Cowboys by ten points.

Seattle (1-1) will now travel back to CenturyLink Field to prepare to take on the Denver Broncos (2-0) in a Super Bowl XLVIII rematch. If their defense plays as sluggishly as it did against San Diego, it could be a long night.