Skip to main content

Originally published September 14, 2014 at 4:28 PM | Page modified September 15, 2014 at 2:24 PM

  • Share:
  • Comments
  • Print

Grading the Game: Seahawks have a spotty day in San Diego

Grading the Game: Only Russell Wilson grades well in loss to Chargers.

Seattle Times staff reporter


SAN DIEGO — After a week of talk that the Seahawks were head and shoulders above the rest of the NFL, reality hit hard Sunday in San Diego.

Seattle’s defense couldn’t stop San Diego’s Philip Rivers and 34-year-old tight end Antonio Gates, the two connecting for three touchdowns as the Chargers beat the Seahawks 30-21 Sunday.

Seattle led only at 7-3 in the first quarter before giving up 17 second-quarter points to fall behind for good.

The key stat? San Diego ran 75 plays to just 40 for the Seahawks, with the Chargers converting 10 of 17 third downs to keep the Seattle offense chained to the sideline for much of the game — Seattle’s time of possession was just 17:45.

Here’s a look at each position group with some grades:


Russell Wilson simply didn’t have enough time on the field to get much done against the Chargers. In his limited time, he was his usual efficient self, especially once Seattle decided to go with almost solely a hurry-up, no-huddle offense late in the second quarter. Seattle had the ball twice in the fourth quarter with a chance to take the lead and couldn’t get it done. But it’s hard to blame Wilson for those failures as he was often running for his life.


Running back

A decent day for both Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin, though again each had limited attempts because of San Diego’s offensive control of the game. Lynch had just six carries, tied for his fewest since being traded to Seattle in 2010. Lynch ran well enough when he had his chances, averaging 6 yards and scoring a touchdown on a 14-yard catch. Turbin scored the first touchdown of his career in the second quarter and caught two passes for 35 yards to spark the drive.


Wide receivers

Percy Harvin showed again the kind of impact he will have on this offense with a 51-yard run on maybe the most creative play of the day for the Seahawks. He lined up at tailback behind Lynch at fullback and then took a flip, racing down the sideline for the score. Doug Baldwin threw a good block to clear the way for Harvin, putting Seattle up 7-3 in the first quarter — its only lead of the game.

But Seattle had trouble getting the ball to Harvin much of the rest of the day as he had just three touches. And while Jermaine Kearse and Baldwin had moments, they were too few. Zach Miller’s three penalties typified a sloppy day for the Seahawks.


Offensive line

Wilson was sacked just twice, but that doesn’t reflect how much pressure he was under throughout the game, especially in the second half once the Chargers began teeing off with the lead and Seattle in poor field position. Rookie tackle Justin Britt and left tackle Russell Okung each gave up sacks.

J.R. Sweezy also had a costly false-start penalty to make it third-and-15 on a Seattle drive in the fourth quarter that ended with a punt.

Hard to know if Seattle could have run, because it could never really establish a running game, with just 13 rushing attempts and only eight by tailbacks.


Defensive line

Rivers was harried at times, but he’s good at knowing how to get away from pressure and how to get rid of the ball just in time. The Seahawks finished with just one sack.

The Chargers also were able to put together a running game early that was better than the stats would indicate — 101 yards on 37 carries. San Diego had seven first downs by rushing.

And one of the costliest plays of the game came from end Bruce Irvin, a late hit on Rivers after he was stopped short on a third-down scramble. Instead of the Chargers kicking a field goal, they kept the ball and scored a touchdown to go ahead 27-14 late in the third quarter.



Pass coverage is usually considered a strength of Seattle’s linebackers, but it was a challenge against the Chargers, especially in trying to defend Gates.



This was one of the tougher games in recent memory for the Legion of Boom. And although injuries forced newly acquired Marcus Burley to play significantly, Burley held up well.

The Chargers said they wouldn’t be shy about going after Richard Sherman a week after the Packers declined to throw his way. And they had success, with Sherman unofficially giving up five receptions for 60 yards.


Special teams

Ultimately, a spotty day here.

Most damaging was a fumble by Harvin on a kickoff return that gave the Chargers the ball at the 28 and led to a San Diego touchdown that put the Seahawks in a 20-7 hole. Harvin had a 30-yard return early, but the Chargers then did everything they could to avoid kicking him the ball. Tight end Luke Willson, an up man on the kickoff return unit, ended up with two returns as a result. Expect that strategy to continue all season.


Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or On Twitter @bcondotta.

Four weeks for 99 cents of unlimited digital access to The Seattle Times. Try it now!

Also in Sports

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Relive the magic

Relive the magic

Shop for unique souvenirs highlighting great sports moments in Seattle history.


Partner Video


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►