CARSON, Calif. – Russell Wilson directed a pair of first-half touchdown drives, and the Seattle Seahawks beat the Los Angeles Chargers 23-15 on Saturday night.
Wilson was 6 of 9 for 73 yards. He has directed the Seahawks to a pair of TDs and a field goal in five possessions in two preseason games.
The Seahawks (2-1) were at their own 38 to start the second quarter when Wilson connected for 20- and 30-yard completions to Tyler Lockett. On fourth-and-1 from the Los Angeles 3, Rashaad Penny barreled into the end zone to put Seattle up 7-3 with 11:30 remaining.
Wilson, who had 31 yards rushing on three carries, took advantage of a short field on the next possession after the Chargers turned it over on downs. He threw an 18-yard pass to Jaron Brown on second-and-18 to move Seattle to the Los Angeles 31. Four plays later, C.J. Prosise went up the middle from a yard out to extend the lead to 13-3.
Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen did not suit up for a third straight game, with Chargers coach Anthony Lynn sticking to his pre-training camp plan of resting his veterans. With Melvin Gordon continuing to hold out, the running game struggled as Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson combined for 23 yards on nine carries.
The offensive line also continued to have its difficulties. Tyrod Taylor was on the run most of the time, finishing 6 of 9 for 61 yards in three possessions. Taylor also was the Chargers’ leading rusher with 34 yards on six carries.
Easton Stick led the Chargers to a pair of scores in the fourth quarter to get them within eight. Los Angeles (0-3) had the ball late in the fourth but the drive stalled on its 48 when a wide-open Justice Liggins slipped on a pass on fourth-and-10.
Backup QB battles
Former Charger Geno Smith was 11 for 18 for 117 yards as he battles Paxton Lynch for the Seahawks’ backup spot. Smith also ran for a 9-yard TD during the third quarter to put Seattle up 23-3.
Cardale Jones and Stick are competing for the Chargers’ third spot. Jones, who was 4 of 5 for 50 yards, has played well the last two games while Stick bounced back after struggling last week against New Orleans.
The fifth-round pick accounted for Los Angeles’ only touchdown with an 8-yard strike to Andre Patton with 9:26 remaining. Stick then ran around right end from 4 yards out on the next drive, cutting Seattle’s lead to 23-15.
The teams combined for three missed extra points. Los Angeles’ Ty Long was 0 for 2, going wide left and having another blocked.
Lynn has tried to give his beleaguered offensive line some confidence by going for it on short yardage on fourth down in two preseason games, but it has backfired. The Chargers went for it twice against the Seahawks and came up empty as Seattle converted the missed opportunities into nine points.
“I’m really disappointed in the fourth-and-1s. Those are ‘Gotta have it’ situations,” Lynn said at halftime. “We were No. 1 in the league last year in that category. We’re a little behind right now.”
Seahawks: Conclude the preseason by hosting Oakland on Thursday night.
Chargers: Travel to San Francisco on Thursday night for their preseason finale.
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