The Seattle Seahawks and San Diego Chargers square off Thursday evening in a preseason opener at San Diego. The Seahawks are a team that struggled to a 7-9 record but stumbled into the playoffs while the Chargers once again got hot late but just missed a playoff spot at 9-7.
The Seahawks made a lot of changes in the offseason, with the most notable being the departure of longtime quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. His departure resulted in the Seahawks signing Tarvaris Jackson who enters the preseason as the number one quarterback on the depth chart. Jackson had some ups and downs in Minnesota and will look to justify Pete Carroll's excitement.
The Seahawks are working to put Jackson in a position to succeed as they also added wide receiver Sidney Rice, tight end Zach Miller and guard Robert Gallery. Throw in rookie right tackle James Carpenter and that's almost half the offense changed over. This preseason will be key to how they gel together and particularly how they use John Carlson alongside Miller at tight end.
The San Diego Chargers spent the one week free agency period focused on signing their own players. Their biggst departures were WR Legedu Naanee, RB Darren Sproles, OLB Antwan Applewhite and Brandon Siler. However, they were able make some modest additions at wide receiver, OLB and ILB. The Chargers added added Rams wide receiver Laurent Robinson and 49ers outside linebacker Travis LaBoy, both of whom should be able to step right in and potentially upgrade WR and OLB positions. They also signed inside linebacker Takeo Spikes who is coming off one of his best years in recent memory.
The Chargers are not looking to rock the boat as they have many of the key parts in place to remain competitive in the AFC West. The question will be whether it's enough to compete with a Chiefs squad that added a couple key parts. The Chargers will be using the preseason to tune back up for the start of the regular season.
Game Date/Time: Thursday, August 11; 8:00pm ET
Location: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California
TV Distribution Map: The506.com
Chargers: Rock 105.3 FM, XTRA 1360 AM
Seahawks: 710 AM ESPN/ 97.3 KIRO