Third quarter

Peephole perspective: A 101-yard kickoff return by Leon Washington. A TD pass from Philip Rivers to Malcolm Floyd. A safety-producing sack in the end zone of Matt Hasselbeck. Seahawks 17-12.

Player of the quarter: Rivers. The Chargers’ QB was 9 of 15 for 159 yards and the TD, or a 118.5 passer rating.

Play of the quarter: Washington, come on down. The former Pro Bowl kick returner for the Jets took the second half kickoff and returned it a club-record 101 yards to make it 17-0.

Number of the quarter: 33. It’s Washington’s uniform number, and also the length of his other kickoff return in the quarter.

The bigger picture: Wow. Washington’s big return up the middle of the field erased the old mark of 97 yards, set by James Jefferson in 1989 and tied by Maurice Morris in 2002.

But, quicker than you could say two big pass plays, the Chargers had scored. The TD came on Philip Rivers’ 3-yard pass to WR Malcolm Floyd, capping a four-play, 80-yard drive. But the big plays were Rivers’ 28-yard pass to TE Antonio Gates and a 49-yarder to WR Buster Davis to the Seahawks’ 3.

CB Marcus Trufant injured an ankle on the long pass to Floyd, and was replaced by rookie Walter Thurmond on the Chargers next possession. The Seahawks also were playing without LB Aaron Curry, who injured a hamstring. Will Herring came in for Curry.

The Chargers were driving, thanks to Rivers’ completions of 18 yards to Floyd on third-and-11 and 23 yards to Patrick Crayton. But DE Chris Clemons picked up his second sack of the game on third-and-15 to force a punt.

On the Seahawks’ second play, however, Chargers LB Brandon Siler blitzed and sacked Hasselbeck in the end zone for a safety to make it 17-9 with 4:31 left in the quarter.

The Chargers took the free kick following the safety and drove 44 yards in nine plays to a 29-yard field goal by Nate Keading that cut the Seahawks lead to 17-12. The big plays on the drive were Rivers passing 6 yards to TE Antonio Gates on third-and-4, Rivers’ 17-yard pass to WR Buster Davis, RB Mike Tolbert’s 13-yard run and, on third-and-8, Thurmond knocking down Rivers’ pass into the end zone.


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