The Los Angeles Chargers 2017 preseason is in the books. The Bolts finished the preseason with a record of 1-3. Their last tilt of the exhibition season left everyone with a lot of takeaways…and the pun is intended.
The Chargers committed five turnovers, but also forced three of their own en route to a 23-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers Thursday night at Levi’s Stadium. Quarterback Cardale Jones got the start for the Chargers. He finished 18-of-24 for 158 yards, one interception, and one fumble. Mike Bercovici relieved Jones late in the third quarter. Neither Philip Rivers, nor Kellen Clemens, saw action in the game. While Rivers was never expected to play in this game, Clemens absence from game action could indicate that he has secured a roster spot.
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The Chargers running game did create some bright spots. The Bolts had four runners that recorded a rush for 10 yards or more. Among those that had an impactful Thursday night was rookie Austin Ekeler. Ekeler had 50 yards on eight carries and also managed three catches for 58 yards.
On the defensive side, another Chargers rookie made an impact as well. Defensive back Desmond King continued his impressive preseason play with a first-quarter sack of 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard. Linebacker Korey Toomer also sacked Beathard in the opening quarter, capping a strong preseason showing.
The Chargers only touchdown of the night came when linebacker Kyle Coleman intercepted a pass from 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens in the fourth quarter and took it 30 yards for the pick-six.
The Chargers were hoping to compile a complete game effort on both sides of the ball, and fell short of accomplishing that goal. 49ers wide receiver Victor Bolden Jr. was able to return a Drew Kaser punt 92 yards for 49ers score. On the very next possession, Cardale Jones fumbled the ball, which led to an eventual one-yard touchdown rush by Niners running back, Tim Hightower.
Overall, turnovers were the biggest story of the night for the Bolts. Head coach Anthony Lynn was quoted after the game, saying:
“Anytime you turn the ball over five times, you have no chance of winning.”
Lynn is absolutely right and look for both he and the team to work tirelessly to improve on this performance.
Next Up for the Chargers
The Bolts will be required to trim its roster from 90 to 53 players by this Saturday at 1 p.m. Pacific. They open the 2017 regular season on Monday, Sept. 11, at 7:20 p.m. Pacific, on the road against the Denver Broncos. The Los Angeles era is about to begin in Chargers Nation.
–Mike D’Abate is the Managing Editor for cover32/Chargers and covers the Los Angeles Chargers.