By Tim Peterson
(Carson) – Seattle broke it open with 24 consecutive points in the second quarter and went on to beat the Chargers 48-17 Sunday night before 21,054 at StubHub Center in the Chargers first game in Los Angeles.
Down 14-10 the Seahawks reeled off three touchdowns and a field goal to go up 34-14 before the Chargers finally countered with a field goal as the first half clock expired.
The Chargers scored first marching 75 yards on 13 plays on the opening possession. Philip Rivers hit Antonio Gates with a four-yard touchdown strike for a 7-0 advantage.
The Seahawks responded with a 41-yard Blair Walsh field goal to make it 7-3. Seattle went 51 yards in eight plays.
Rivers left the game after one possession and was relieved by Kellen Clemens.
Russell Wilson, after guiding Seattle on the first series, was replaced by Trevone Boykin on the next set of downs.
On LA’s third possession, Terence Garvin stepped in front of a Clemens pass and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown to give the Hawks the lead.
The advantage was short lived however when on the first play from scrimmage on the Chargers following series Clemens found a wide open Travis Benjamin behind the Seahawk secondary and hit him in stride for a 76-yard scoring toss and LA regained the lead.
Then the Seahawk avalanche struck.
Seattle drove right back down the field with Boykin hitting Kenny Lawler on a two-yard score.
A Tylor Harris interception of Clemens set up a 20-yard field goal by Walsh.
The Chargers were bitten by the turnover bug again on the next series when a fumble on the hand off led to a 16-yard recovery and return by T. French down to the one-yard line. Chris Carson then blasted in from the one and just like that it was 27-14 Seahawks with 3:07 left in the half.
After a short punt Seattle set up in Charger territory again. The Hawks went 43 yards in four-plays with Boykin capping the march with a four-yard run for a 34-14 lead.
“We turned the ball over three times and we stopped playing Chargers football. Things we kept emphasizing all through summer and OTAs was turnovers and we did that. Three times in the first half. Four times in the game,” said Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn. “There is no explanation, we turned the ball over. I thought our starters played pretty well but when the second teams came on they made plays and we didn’t.”
The Chargers finally answered as Cardale Jones took over for Clemens on the last series of the first half and led the team into Seattle territory. Josh Lambo booted a 53-yard field goal as time expired. Seattle took the 34-17 lead into halftime.
With Boykin still at the controls Seattle immediately went 75 yards on seven plays to open the third quarter. Carson picked up his second TD of the night on a one-yard plunge for a 41-17 lead which spelled the end for the LA.
Austin Davis took over for Boykin later in the third quarter for Seattle. An apparent 25-yard touchdown pass from Davis to Cyril Grayson Jr. was called back after a review showed he was out of bounds.
Alex Collins added a late two-yard touchdown run with 6:26 left in the fourth quarter for the final score of the night.
Mike Bercovici saw some action late in the contest behind center for the Chargers mopping up after replacing Jones.
“It was a good night. A lot of guys got to do stuff and make some plays. The quarterback play was great,” said Seattle head coach Pete Carroll. “We were able to do a lot of things with our twos and threes in practice and it showed some of our depth tonight. Boykin had a big night. He played beautifully. He threw the ball really well and made some big plays with his feet. Just a really good night for Tre.”
Next up for the Chargers is a home game next week against the New Orleans Saints.