Defense: Any time a defensive end intercepts a pass, it’s noteworthy. When that interception comes on a screen pass, well, it’s the defensive play of the game. That’s what rookie Nick Reed did on the second play of the fourth quarter. Reed’s pick ended a Chargers’ drive that had reached midfield, and set up the first of two 38-yard field goals by Brandon Coutu.
Special teams: The best of Ryan’s punts – that booming 77-yarder. It came on the series after the Chargers had scored to cut the lead to 20-14. It forced the Chargers to drive the long field on their final possession, which reached the Seahawks’ 34-yard line before No. 3 QB Charlie Whitehurst threw a trio of incompletions.
Facing a first down from the Chargers’ 18-yard line late in the third quarter, rookie quarterback Mike Teel went to wide receiver Mike Hass for a touchdown that put the Seahawks ahead to stay 14-7. The throw was nice and the catch was even better.
Jon Ryan. The punter? Selecting the punter usually means no one else did anything. But not on this night, when there were plenty of other candidates. It’s just that Ryan kicked the Seahawks out of one hole after another, in a game where field position proved to be paramount. He averaged 52.4 yards on eight punts, including a 77-yarder in the fourth quarter. His net average of 41.1 yards would have been even better if two of his punt hadn’t skipped into the end zone for touchbacks.
Rookie QB Mike Teel hooked up with Ben Obomanu on a 21-yard pass play on the Seahawks’ first possession, and defensive ends Nick Reed and Derek Walker teamed up to snuff the Chargers’ first series. Reed, a rookie from Oregon, beat Chargers backup left tackle L.J. Shelton for a second-down sack; while Walker tipped Charlie Whitehurst’s third-down pass incomplete.
On the Seahawks’ third possession, Teel completed passes to tight end Joe Newton (12 yards) and fullback David Kirtman (9 yards), before Chargers linebacker Antwan Applewhite intercepted his next pass – after it was tipped by Obomanu and Chargers cornerback Antoine Cason.
But the Seahawks got the ball right back – with their best field position of the evening – when Walker recovered a fumble at the Chargers’ 39-yard line that was forced by fellow defensive end Baraka Atkins.
Teel then cashed in on the big play by the defense, passing 18 yards to No. 18 – former Oregon State wide receiver Mike Hass, who beat Chargers cornerback Brandon Hughes.
The Seahawks got the ball back again, when Kelly Jennings intercepted a poor throw by Whitehead to give Seattle the ball at the Chargers’ 41.
Reed. Walker. Teel. Newton. Kirtman. Atkins. Hass. All are harboring hopes of landing spots on the 53-man roster.