SAN DIEGO – A recap of the Seahawks’ 24-17 victory over the Chargers in their preseason opener at Qualcomm Stadium on Thursday night:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Thomas Clayton. There were a lot of candidates for the Seahawks, but the third-year running back scored the game-winner – on a 25-yard touchdown run with 3 minutes to play – had a game-high 62 rushing yards and also added an 11-yard run to the Chargers’ 5-yard line on the TD drive that tied the score at 17.
All this from a guy who was just signed last weekend.
“It was amazing. Amazing. Amazing,” Clayton said of scoring the decisive touchdown. “I’m speechless.”
That’s OK, because his action on the field spoke so loudly there was no need for post-game words.
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: Again, there were a lot to choose from – and from both teams. But if the choice isn’t the game-winning touchdown, well, it’s the wrong choice. And part of what made Clayton’s 25-yard run so impressive was how well not only the line blocked but also the receivers downfield.
Defense: The play that setup Clayton’s run. On the Chargers’ first snap after the Seahawks had tied the game at 17, rookie defensive end Pierre Allen came up with a fumble-forcing hit on Scott Tolizen, the Chargers’ No. 3 QB. Rookie defensive tackle Pep Levingston recovered at the Chargers’ 22-yard line.
Special teams: After the Seahawks had scored to tie the game at 10, rookie free agent Bryan Walter took the ensuing kickoff and returned it 103 yards for a touchdown. Enough said, in most cases. But Seahawks coach Pete Carroll offered, “Unfortunately for us, the kickoff coverage just stunk on the touchdown or we would have had almost a perfect second half.”
The big news – and the event that likely will dominate the conversation coming out of this game – was the left ankle sprain that forced left tackle Russell Okung to the locker room on the first series of the game.
He is scheduled to have a MRI, which will determine how much time last year’s first-round draft choice will miss.
Seventeen Seahawks did not dress for the game, including four starters: wide receiver Mike Williams (toe) and Sidney Rice (labrum), defensive linemen Red Bryant (knee) and defensive end Chris Clemons (ankle).
THIS ’N THAT
Rookie free agent Doug Baldwin had a team-high four receptions and also added a 20-yard punt return and a 41-yard kickoff return. … Rookie middle linebacker K.J. Wright had a team-high eight tackles. … Jameson Konz, who was moved from tight end to defensive end during training camp, had a sack. … Tight end Dominique Byrd had two catches for 52 yards. … The Seahawks quarterbacks – Tarvaris Jackson, Charlie Whitehurst and Josh Portis – combined to complete 22 of 24 passes for 197 yards and a passer rating of 90.0. … On the Chargers’ 89-yard touchdown drive on their first possession, the Seahawks yielded a 48-yard completion on third-and-6 and a 16-yard completion on third-and-11.
YOU DON’T SAY
“We shut him out on defensive in the second half. We scored 24 points on offense in the second half. That’s cool stuff.” – Carroll