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Seahawks can’t keep up with Philip Rivers’ Chargers in 25-17 loss at home

Veteran QB Philip Rivers led the Chargers to a 25-17 win over the Seahawks in Seattle. (AP)

The Seahawks’ defense needed to hold down the Los Angeles Chargers enough to give their offense a chance to win the game. Seattle’s offense didn’t hold up its end of the bargain.

Hawks an unfinished product | Comeback fall short710 Reaction | Photos

Russell Wilson and the Seahawks managed just a touchdown and a field goal until late in the fourth quarter, allowing a pick-six by the Chargers’ Desmond King in the fourth quarter to be the back-breaker in a 25-17 Seattle loss.

Things started well for the Seahawks, who scored on a 10-yard pass from Wilson to Jaron Brown on their first drive of the game. But the Chargers’ defense stymied Seattle’s run game and kept Wilson from making them pay through the air. Meanwhile, Los Angeles showed explosiveness when it had the ball and scored enough to keep kicker Caleb Sturgis’ disastrous day (1 for 3 on PATs, 0 for 1 on field goals) from being a factor.

Here’s a quarter-by-quarter look at the 4-4 Seahawks’ loss at home.

First quarter

Seahawks 7,  Chargers 6

Coming off an impressive offensive showing last week in Detroit, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks went right back to work in their return at CenturyLink Field. Wilson led Seattle on a 13-play, 75-yard drive to open the game, with a 10-yard pass to Jaron Brown putting the Seahawks on the board. Chris Carson got the Hawks off on the right foot with a 15-yard run on the first play from scrimmage.

The Chargers didn’t do themselves any favors on the following kickoff, fumbling and having to start from the 6-yard line. Veteran quarterback Philip Rivers wasn’t slowed by that, though, and he and Los Angeles covered 94 yards on 10 plays to get into the end zone on 12-yard pass to Tyrell Williams at the end of the quarter. Kicker Caleb Strugis missed the extra point, however, preserving a one-point Seahawks lead.

Notes

• The Seahawks paid their respects to late owner Paul Allen in their first home game since his death. There was no special guest to raise the 12 flag, with a video of Allen raising the flag instead playing in the stadium while the flag went up. It was then brought down to half staff.
• The Seahawks are starting to become known for their elaborate touchdown celebrations. A week after a baseball-themed celebration, the Seahawks unveiled a choreographed dance routine after Brown’s TD catch.

SEA – Jaron Brown 10 pass from Russell Wilson (Sebastian Janikowski kick), 7:02
LAC – Tyrell Williams 12 pass from Philip Rivers (kick failed), :00

Second quarter

Chargers 19, Seahawks 10

After a first quarter that featured all of one offensive series for each team, the Seahawks and Chargers made up for it by stuffing the second quarter full of action. Unfortunately for Seattle, that action amounted to two Chargers touchdowns and just three points for the home team.

The story of the half was the Chargers’ offense, which gave Seattle’s defense nearly all it can handle. After the Seahawks punted on a three-and-out drive to start the second frame, Los Angeles needed just four plays to move into a 12-7 lead. Actually, it really only needed two plays. On third-and-15, Philip Rivers found Keenan Allen for a 54-yard pass, and on the next play Melvin Gordon reeled off a 34-yard TD run. It was not exactly a shining moment for Seattle’s D.

The Chargers got a little in their own way with their ineffectiveness in point-after plays, though. After Sturgis missed a kick following Los Angeles’ first score, L.A. went for two and failed once again to tack on any extra points.

The Seahawks needed to do a whole lot better on offense to make that matter, though. After a 13-play TD drive to open the game, Seattle had back-to-back three-and-outs in which they gained just two yards in the second quarter. And while things looked promising as the Hawks moved into Chargers’ territory on their third drive of the quarter, Sebastian Janikowski’s 51-yard field goal attempt clanked off the upright.

The Seattle defense started to find its footing again midway through the quarter, but Rivers found Allen for two more big gains then connected with Mike Williams on a 30-yard touchdown with 70 seconds left before the half to push the Chargers’ lead to 12 points.

Seattle was able to get into field goal range, though, and Janikowski hit from 44 yards as the quarter ended to get back within nine points.

LAC – Melvin Gordon 34 run (pass failed), 11:36
LAC – Mike Williams 30 pass from Philip Rivers (Caleb Sturgis kick), 1:17
SEA – Sebastian Janikowski 44 FG, :04

Third quarter

Chargers 19, Seahawks 10

Both Los Angeles and Seattle had missed opportunities to put points on the board, but with the Hawks down by a pair of scores the events of the third quarter obviously hurt them a lot more than the Chargers.

Russell Wilson had a wide-open Jaron Brown downfield for a sure touchdown with about 11 minutes on the clock, but Wilson underthrew his receiver, forcing the Seahawks to punt it back to Los Angeles at a time it could ill afford to. It was the first of two punts Seattle had to make in the quarter.

At least the Chargers came up empty when they had a chance to add to their lead on their next series. Rivers and Los Angeles drove all the way to Seattle’s 24, but the 42-yard field goal attempt by Sturgis missed, keeping the score 19-10.

Not only have the Seahawks had a hard time with the Chargers, but injuries started to chip away at them in the third quarter, too. Both strong safety Bradley McDougald (knee) and running back Chris Carson (hip) found themselves on the sideline.

Fourth quarter

Chargers 25, Seahawks 17

The Seahawks didn’t have much success on offense against the Chargers, but they were able to stay in the game due to not making a crucial mistake on a turnover. Well, until midway through the fourth quarter, that is.

Wilson never saw Chargers cornerback Desmond King as he threw in the direction of David Moore, and King picked off the pass and ran down the sideline 42 yards for a touchdown, making it a 15-point lead for Los Angeles. Sturgis missed another PAT, though his third missed kick of the day to leave the door open for the Seahawks to take the lead with two touchdowns and a two-point conversion after each of them.

The Seahawks pulled off the first part of that four-part equation, Wilson finding tight end Nick Vannett for a 6-yard touchdown, but it took 14 plays and 4:54 of game time for it to happen. By that point the game was inside the two-minute warning, and Janikowski’s onside kick was recovered with no issue by the Chargers.

Seattle received one last shot at tying the game after Jarran Reed got to Rivers on third down for just the second sack of the day for the Seahawks. They had no timeouts, 1:24 to work with and 78 yards of field in front of them – and they got as far as the Chargers’ 1 after a pass interference play on L.A. in the end zone with time expired. But J.R. Sweezy was flagged for a false start, pushing Seattle’s final untimed play to the 6, and Wilson’s pass attempt was incomplete as the Chargers escaped with the win.

LAC – Desmond King 42 interception return (kick failed), 6:44
SEA – Nick Vannett 6 pass from Wilson (Janikowski kick), 1:50

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