Sun Aug 25 1:16am ET
By JOE REEDY
AP Sports Writer
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith, left, scores past Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Nick Dzubnar during the second half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Andre Patton, left, scores past Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jamar Taylor during the second half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Los Angeles Chargers tight end Sean Culkin, right, is tackled by Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jamar Taylor during the second half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor passes against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson passes against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Seattle Seahawks running back C.J. Prosise (22) celebrates his touchdown against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny scores against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler is tackled by Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker K.J. Wright during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
CARSON, Calif. (AP) 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 to get the Chargers within 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.
Five Waiver Wire Adds: Week 3
Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller, who had 12 catches on a whopping 16 targets for 103 yards and a touchdown in the Monday night win over the Saints, had at least one reception from all four skill-position alignments. The breakdown was as follows: Fourteen routes at tight end (six catches, 44 yards and a TD), 12 routes from the slot (four catches, 37 yards), two routes as a wideout (one catch, 13 yards) and one route out of the backfield (one catch, nine yards). More than 52 percent of his 1,145 receiving yards in 2019 came after the catch, too. Only George Kittle had more yards after the catch. Waller has 586 receiving yards since Week 13 of last year. He's the real deal and is a must-start, high-end TE1 in fantasy. "It's been a long time since we've seen a guy like this," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said. "He's definitely more than a receiver playing tight end." The Pats will look to contain Waller in Week 3.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said he's "not really" surprised that tight end Rob Gronkowski has just four targets in the first two games of the season. His lone target in the Week 2 win over the Panthers was intercepted. "We're not throwing the ball 50 times to the tight ends. That's what we have receivers for, that's the way our offense is built. Gronk's playing great run blocking in the fourth quarter, so I'm not concerned with his pass catches or his targets," Arians said. The 31-year-old is competing with a lot of aerial playmakers in Tampa, so he won't see close to the target share he saw in his prime with Tom Brady in New England. And as long as Gronk continues to block well, he may only get a handful of looks per game. He's become a low-end TE2 that's droppable in shallow leagues.
New York Giants running back Devonta Freeman, who signed a one-year deal worth up to $3 million on Tuesday, will officially sign his contract Wednesday morning and then practice with the team, and he could play as soon as this Sunday against the 49ers. Freeman reportedly turned down more money elsewhere because he like the opportunity with the Giants the most. He'll try to help replace Saquon Barkley (knee), who was lost for the year in Week 2. The 28-year-old should be a high waiver priority this week for those that lost Barkley or another running back last week, but he may be slow to get going as he learns this offense. The matchup against the Niners isn't the greatest, either. Expect to see more of Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman this week.
Free-agent DBs Blake Countess (Jets), Mark McLaurin (Giants), Obi Melifonwu (Patriots), Tyvis Powell (Broncos) and Abraham Wallace (Bills) tried out for the Indianapolis Colts Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Updating a previous story, free-agent RB Devonta Freeman (Falcons) officially agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $3 million with the New York Giants Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Fantasy Spin: It may take Freeman a couple weeks to get fully up to speed but he should eventually control the bulk of the touches out of the Giants' backfield. His dual-threat abilities should allow him to be a FLEX option most weeks.
Tennessee Titans LB Daren Bates, WR Cameron Batson, PK Tucker McCann and QB Trevor Siemian were designated as protected practice squad players Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Pittsburgh Steelers WR Deon Cain, LB Jayrone Elliott, DE Henry Mondeaux and RB Wendell Smallwood were named as the team's protected practice squad players for Week 3 Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Kansas City Chiefs DB Chris Lammons and RB DeAndre Washington were named as protected practice squad players Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Cleveland Browns QB Garrett Gilbert, RB Dontrell Hilliard, PK Matthew McCrane and OT Greg Senat were placed on the team's Week 3 protection list Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Dallas Cowboys DB Deante Burton, DE Ron'Dell Carter, DB Rashard Robinson and OT Eric Smith were named to the Week 3 protection list Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Houston Texans C Greg Mancz, DB Jonathan Owens, RB C.J. Prosise and WR Devin Smith were named to the Week 3 protection list Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Atlanta Falcons QB Kurt Benkert, P Cameron Nizialek, LB Edmond Robinson and WR Chris Rowland were named the team's protected practice squad players Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Cincinnati Bengals DE Freedom Akinmoladun, QB Brandon Allen, WR Stanley Morgan and G Keaton Sutherland were named as the team's protected practice squad players Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Pittsburgh Steelers NT Daniel McCullers terminated his practice squad contract Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Free-agent DE Muhammad Wilkerson (Packers) had his suspension lifted by commissioner Roger Goodell Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Free-agent RBs Paul Perkins (Ravens), Karan Higdon (Texans) and Austin Walter (Giants) are among the running backs trying out for the San Francisco 49ers.
Arizona Cardinals DE Jonathan Bullard, DE Michael Dogbe, RB Jonathan Ward and DB Jace Whittaker were protected from selection off the practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 22.
New Orleans Saints WR Bennie Fowler and DT Margus Hunt were bumped from the active list to the inactive list Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Baltimore Ravens TE Xavier Grimble (undisclosed) was added to the practice squad's injured list Tuesday, Sept. 22.