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Obviously, this game was a blowout…48-17 Seattle. It began 7-0 LAC, and then 48-10 Seattle from there…embarrassing/odd in the NFL preseason for such a beat down to occur. Just a fluke? No…this is a pretty accurate representation of where these two teams are at right now for 2017. The Chargers were crushed, toyed with on pretty much every level and with every ‘string’ that faced each other. Seattle just kept bringing in playmakers in waves. It’s why Seattle will win their division despite the coaching…and the Chargers continue spiraling as an organization.
The difference between these two teams is best explained by my first note in the player notes…
— Six running backs played in this game for Seattle. Any one of the six would be the Chargers’ #2 running back right now. I’d argue 4-5 of them would be the Chargers #1, but I know how some of you feel about my anti-Melvin ways. I need to talk about 9-10 RBs from this game, a game recap record I would guess. Let’s begin with Seattle’s six-pack. I’ll take them in order of appearance…
Thomas Rawls (2-5-0) started…and that’s the news. He’s atop the leaderboard. How is any Seattle RB going to matter for fantasy? Eddie Lacy isn’t going to just sit on the sideline and snack. C.J. Prosise isn’t going to sit on 3rd-downs/passing downs. Why own any of these guys?
Eddie Lacy (4-10-0) looked slimmed down and ran the ball well enough, I thought…and you may know how much I despise him as a future-to-balloon up disappointment. He did get stuffed on a goal-line attempt…per usual. Known running situations are not Eddie Lacy’s friend.
C.J. Prosise (1-30, 1-8-0/1) looked the most ‘springy’ of the three-headed monster. He could start and rush for 1,000+ if given the chance. Instead, he’ll split time and be used in the passing game somewhat.
Chris Carson (7-19-2, 1-3-0/1) could rush for 1,000+ yards this season if made the starter Week 1. He won’t be. He’s as good a power runner as anyone here.
Shockingly, and to my great delight, Mike Davis (8-33-0/1-7-0/1) looked better than all of them, to me. This game – that’s the Mike Davis I felt could be a three-down starter in the NFL. Great effort, speed, balance – the total package. He’ll never make this roster.
Alex Collins (6-9-1, 2-17-0/3) is a decent backup RB for the NFL…but he’s the 6th best RB on this team sadly for him.
The Chargers’ RBs looked sad by comparison. It really was jarring how Seattle kept bringing wave after wave of talent on offense, and the Chargers had a cluster of mediocre talents trying as hard as they could.
The projection changer to me, from the LAC backfield, is Branden Oliver (3-7-0, 1-14-0/3) — the clear #2 RB here. After a couple years of injuries – Oliver looks a little slimmer and had a nice bounce in his step. He looks like he scrapped trying to be a little bigger, thicker RB and is going with slimmer and bouncier — and it worked as a COP back and getting into position for short passes out of the backfield. He may have a little role worked out as a ultra-discount Danny Woodhead here. OR the Chargers should wait to see what RBs Seattle tries to put on the P-Squad and then grab them/push them as their #2.
It’s a potential Chargers backfield cluster coming if Andre Williams (8-18-0, 0-0-0/1) has a power role niche. I think he knocked two players out of the game after lowering his shoulder into them in the open field. He is a horse, and who you want around the goal line. He played most of the second half and was returning kicks. Like I’ve written before – new coach Anthony Lynn is pro-Williams, warranted or not.
Melvin Gordon (6-14-0) looked OK in his brief appearance. That LAC O-Line scares me if I were a Gordon-owner…of which I am not. In addition to the other specialist RBs the Chargers have to use in certain situations.
LAC UDFA Austin Ekeler (1-8-0/1) got the ball on a dump pass late – he showed some hops. Hopefully, we’ll get to see more of him next game.
— Even more #Sad for the Chargers – I think most of Seattle’s backup WRs would be the #4 WR on the Chargers. The Chargers have a gaggle of backup/rookie WRs that I’m not sure how they made training camps while Seattle has starter-level talent down below, but have a logjam in front of them to even make the team in some instances. Examples…
Seattle 2nd-year UDFA Kasen Williams (4-119-0/4) looked like the best WR on either team…starter or not…and Williams will not make the Seahawks opening day roster. He literally made four over-the-top-of-defender, highlight reel catches on all his targets. Either Williams is improving or the Chargers have some of the worst backup CBs in the league.
J.D. McKissic (no stats) was not in the backfield or targeted as a WR, but was returning kicks and punts. He has starter talent/skills, and he can’t get on the field for Seattle.
6’6″ WR/TE Tanner McEvoy (1-23-0/3) was used as an outside threat and had a hard time getting open against the LAC first-team. Seattle ran Richardson-Kearse with McEvoy as their ‘starters’/’not-1st-team for sure’ guys for this game. A nice step up for McEvoy. Be sure to check out our ‘Very Deep Sleeper’ expose’ on him last week on FantasyPros.
LSU track star turned WR attempt Cyril Grayson was left alone wide open and caught a 20+ yard TD, but it got erased on a penalty. He didn’t do anything otherwise.
Paul Richardson (2-30-0/2) made a great catch, per usual…and landed funny on his shoulder and was hurt, per usual. Richardson’s constant injuries are going to open up an opportunity for one of these other guys – and the upstarts may not yield to Richardson upon his return.
The Seattle WR who impressed me the most – East Central College/7th-round pick David Moore. He has the measurables and skills on tape, but you always like to see how these small school guys look up against the NFL bodies – impressive for Moore’s debut.
Moore is the anti-Paul Richardson…talented but thicker, has a strong/big frame. Moore looked completely confident and comfortable in his debut. For his size (6’2″/220, 26 bench reps), and the spring in his step he showed (4.43 runner, 6.98 three-cone) – he is going to fight for work right away in 2017…fighting for scraps leftover from the scraps Lockett-Richardson don’t get. I assume Kearse will be released.
— You watch the backup QBs in this game, and you have to tilt that to Seattle as well. Trevone Boykin (12-15 for 189 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) is not a superstar and will probably be in incarcerated before he gets a chance to start – but that dude can play QB solidly in the NFL. He is totally unfazed by the NFL game. He’s like a lesser talented Dak Prescott. Boykin didn’t blink from day-one last year. I wish he could stay out of trouble…
Cardale Jones (2-9 for 50 yards, 0 TD/0 INT) by contrast…not good. Erratic throws all over. I know he just got there so there’s reason to delay judgment but it’s getting to the point that the Ohio State title run miracle was the aberration…and everything else is reality for him.
— Seattle’s first string played a series. Jimmy Graham started. I was sure that the Seahawks would want to get Graham a quick target or two with Baldwin-Lockett out just to make a statement…
…Seattle made the same statement they always do – zero targets to Graham. I love Jimmy as much as anyone, but his Seattle career has been a disappointment designed by the offensive coordinator in large part. Why would you think the O-C would change his philosophy on Graham now…after not caring for two years? What a free agent Graham will be in 2018.
— I can tell you this…former Texas Longhorns QB-turned-TE Tyrone Swoopes (2-26-0/3) is not the 2018 answer at tight end. He’s not ready. He seemed wildly surprised every time a throw came his way…like playing peek-a-boo with a baby by covering your face with your hands. It gets them every time. Swoopes looked uncomfortable, to say the least, but it’s early in his transition.
— Rookie IDP Desmond King (4 tackles, 1 PD) had an impact in this game…one of the only Chargers’ DBs who had positives. King picked off a pass and was also returning kicks. I’m a fan. He may not be a future IDP superstar, but you want him on your NFL team…he’s just solid. He can cover decent as a corner. He can play/hit as a safety. He has a knack for the return game.
— It’s a new coaching staff for the Chargers DST, a DST that was pretty nice for fantasy last season. This debut game for the new coaches/scheme – no thanks. I’ll be downgrading them a hair and waiting to see what Week 2 reveals.
— Denzel Perryman is out for a bit – ‘stock up’ for IDP Korey Toomer (4 tackles) who was excellent last year in relief…Toomer should already be starting over Perryman, but Anthony Lynn loves three things: (1) The run game. (2) Defenders who are good in the run game…even if awful in coverage, and (3) Not letting team leaders, veterans go to LaDainian Tomlinson’s HOF ceremony because high knees and neck rolls with the team at camp is way more important.
I can already feel another losing season heading toward the Chargers…