CARSON, Calif. – Yes, it’s only two preseason games, and they’re seldom good indicators of how a team will perform during the regular season. But so far, the Los Angeles Chargers have not given fans in L.A. much to get excited about.
The Bolts lost their second straight game at the StubHub Center, this one a 13-7 setback at the hands of the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. For a second straight week the Chargers struggled to move the ball, finishing with just 177 total yards. The Chargers punted seven times, four in the first half alone.
Since the start of the second half last week against the Seattle Seahawks, the Chargers have not scored on offense -- that’s 17 straight drives without a point.
The biggest play of the night for the Chargers occurred with nine minutes left in the game, when safety Dexter McCoil picked off a pass from New Orleans quarterback Ryan Nassib and took it 99 yards for a score.
QB depth chart: Philip Rivers suited up but did not play. With Rivers out, Kellen Clemens got the start. The University of Oregon product finished 10-of-17 for 99 yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Cardale Jones played the entire second half and went 7-of-14 for 62 yards, with no touchdowns and one interception at the end of the game.
When it was starters vs. starters, the Chargers looked lackluster. Yes, Rivers did not play, but the Chargers could not get anything going on offense. And on defense they allowed running back Alvin Kamara to bolt 50 yards for a touchdown almost untouched on the Saints' opening play. For a second straight week the Chargers did not bring enough energy to the game.
One reason to be concerned: The Chargers’ offensive line allowed eight sacks and failed to get much push in the running game. Chargers coach Anthony Lynn has preached balance, but so far his offense has failed to run the ball consistently, averaging just 2.7 yards per carry.
That guy could start: For a second straight game rookie safety Desmond King was making plays all over the field. He finished with two tackles -- including a tackle for a loss -- a sack and a pass breakup. The Iowa product appears to be carving out a role on defense.
Rookie watch: Fourth-round pick safety Rayshawn Jenkins finished with three tackles on defense and another on special teams. Sixth-round selection Sam Tevi played the majority of the game at right tackle.
Injury update: Offensive tackle Tyreek Burwell went to the locker room at the end of the first quarter and had his right hand wrapped in a club. Center Max Tuerk suffered a finger injury in the second half. Running back Kenneth Farrow suffered an ankle injury in the second half and did not return.
Chargers not suited up for Sunday’s game included CB Trovon Reed (hip), TE Jeff Cumberland (legs), DE Jerry Attaochu (hamstring), TE Sean McGrath (knee), DE Chris Landrum (shoulder), CB Craig Mager (hamstring), WR Mike Williams (back), OL Forrest Lamp (knee), LB Denzel Perryman (ankle), OT Russell Okung (ankle), OT Joe Barksdale (ankle), CB Casey Hayward (hamstring).