Chargers blown out by Seahawks in preseason opener

CARSON, Calif. – Much like last season, the Los Angeles Chargers had trouble holding onto the football in a 48-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the team’s opening game at the StubHub Center, including three times in the first half, leading to 17 points by the Seahawks.

Yeah, the starters weren’t in for much of the game, but it still wasn’t a good look for the team’s self-proclaimed “Fight for L.A.” The Chargers had an announced attendance of 21,054 in the 27,000-seat soccer facility. The Los Angeles Rams drew nearly 90,000 in the team’s preseason opener in the franchise’s return to to town last season.

One of the few bright spots for the Chargers was Travis Benjamin's 74-yard touchdown reception. And the first-unit offense led by Philip Rivers scored on its first possession of the game.

QB depth chart: Rivers was efficient in his only series of the evening, going 5-of-6 for 56 yards, capped by a 5-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gates over the middle. Backup Kellen Clemens threw a nice deep ball to Benjamin for that 74-yard score, but also had two interceptions on tipped passes and a fumble. Clemens finished 4-of-10 for 100 yards. With only two weeks in the system, Cardale Jones was solid executing the offense, but still he was 2-of-9 for 50 yards, with an additional 18 yards on two carries running the ball. In his only two series of the evening, Mike Bercovici finished 3-of-5 passing for 60 yards, but also lost a fumble after being sacked at the end of the game.

When it was starters vs. starters, the Chargers looked … As good as advertised. The first-unit offense put together a 13-play, 75-yard drive that ate up 7 minutes, 15 seconds of clock, ending in a score. And the first-unit defense kept Seattle offense out of the end zone, holding the Seahawks to a Blair Walsh 42-yard field goal.

One reason to be concerned: While the Chargers’ defense was put in bad situations and filled with mostly backups, they still gave up 34 points to the Seahawks in the first half alone. The Chargers were slow to the football defensively and gave up too many big plays. They also had trouble containing mobile Seattle backup quarterback Trevone Boykin. The Chargers gave up 134 rushing and 459 total yards to the Seahawks.

That guy could start: Playing in place of starter Jason Verrett, cornerback Trevor Williams was solid, finishing with two tackles and doing a nice job inside as a slot defender.

Rookie watch: Third-round selection Dan Feeney played center with the second unit and was solid. However, undrafted rookie Michael Davis, whom coach Anthony Lynn praised for his play during training camp, was beat five times on fade routes. Fifth-round selection Desmond King corralled an interception in the second half and recorded a pass breakup. King also made a nice hustle play in the fourth quarter to strip the ball from behind against Seattle's Tre Madden.

Injury update: Inside linebacker Denzel Perryman suffered a left ankle injury in the opening quarter and hobbled off the field. Perryman was taken to the locker room in a cart for further evaluation and returned to the field on crutches and with a walking boot on his left foot. Defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu suffered a hamstring injury in the first half and did not return.

Chargers not suited up for Sunday’s game included CB Trovon Reed, CB Jason Verrett, TE Jeff Cumberland, TE Sean McGrath, RB Kenjon Barner, DE Chris Landrum, WR Geremy Davis, CB Craig Mager, WR Mike Williams, WR Dontrelle Inman, OL Forrest Lamp, WR Andre Patton and LB Mike Moore.