Chargers Finish Preseason With a Whimper

Offense sputters again without its starting quarterback

The exhibition season is over and the one most glaring thing that came out of it is this: If the Chargers somehow don’t have Philip Rivers at quarterback they will lose every game by 90 points.


But really that is only a slight exaggeration. The Chargers finished the preseason with an uninspiring 23-13 loss to the 49ers in the Bay Area. Rivers did not play and the offense had no chance, only putting up six points while turning the ball over five times. I’m not a professional football coach but I would assume a near 1:1 points-to-turnovers ratio is not a good thing for an offense to have.

Cardale Jones started at quarterback and was responsible for two of the turnovers, one on an interception that went off the hands of tight end Sean Culkin (no relation to Macaulay) and one on a fumble where he held the ball in the pocket far too long and was hit from behind.

Running back Kenjon Barner lost a fumble, as well, and backup to the backup to the backup QB Mike Bercovici threw a pair of picks, one of them in the end zone. The only touchdown came from their defense when linebacker Kyle Coleman picked off a pass and went 30 yards for a touchdown.

Meanwhile the 49ers seemed to score in fantastic fashion. Backup quarterback C.J. Beathard, who is the grandson of former San Diego Chargers general manager Bobby Beathard, pulled off a 62-yard touchdown run that would have made Steve Young proud. The Niners got another score when Victor Bolden returned a punt 92 yards for a touchdown, showing once again the Chargers have not fixed their issues of depth, tackling ability or having capable special teams players.

Over the weekend the Chargers have to figure out who they want on their final 53-man roster. They start the regular season on Monday, September 11 against the Broncos in Denver.

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