Seahawks look to defend home turf against Chargers

Published on September 25, 2010 by     Tacoma News Tribune (Feed)

Impressive in their first game under coach Pete Carroll, the Seattle Seahawks couldn’t build on that performance in their first road contest of the season.

The Seahawks look to bounce back Sunday against the visiting San Diego Chargers, who will try to put a disappointing season opener further behind them with a second consecutive victory.

Seattle (1-1) opened Carroll’s tenure with a 31-6 rout of San Francisco, but wasn’t able to sustain that momentum in a 31-14 defeat to Denver last week. The Seahawks committed four turnovers – three coming on Matt Hasselbeck interceptions – and were limited to 22 1/2 minutes of possession time.

That performance may not bode well against San Diego, which grabbed four interceptions — two by Antoine Cason — and recovered a pair of fumbles in a 38-13 home victory over Jacksonville last week. Philip Rivers passed for 334 yards and three TDs, and Mike Tolbert added a pair of scoring runs to help the Chargers (1-1) rebound from a 21-14 loss at Kansas City.

One of those TDs came after rookie Ryan Mathews sprained his right ankle. The status of Mathews is uncertain for this week, and coach Norv Turner would only say that he was sore.

“Whether (Mathews) could’ve or couldn’t have returned, I wasn’t comfortable having him return,” Turner said Monday. “Depending on the severity of it, I don’t want an injury that might be a one-week injury turn into a six-week injury.”

Mathews has 104 yards, no touchdowns and two fumbles, which have led to 10 points for opponents. Tolbert, who had a career-best 82 yards on 16 carries against the Jaguars, would likely start if Mathews can’t go.

There’s no question who will be under center this week for the Seahawks, who are staying with Hasselbeck despite four interceptions in the first two games.

“We’re going with Matt and he’s the guy that’s going to take us,” Carroll said. “We’re going to ride him and make sure we support him and do all the things around him to support him and make sure he’s successful.”

Hasselbeck has won two of his three starts against the Chargers but threw a pair of interceptions in the most recent matchup, a 20-17 loss Dec. 24, 2006. That snapped Seattle’s five-game win streak in the series.

The Seahawks have taken 10 of 13 overall meetings with San Diego and five of seven at home.

The Chargers, though, have won five in a row versus NFC opponents and three straight on the road. Rivers is 11-5 as a starter against the NFC.

Rivers completed a career-worst 33 percent of his passes in the 2006 meeting — his only game against the Seahawks — but threw a pair of touchdowns. Both were to Vincent Jackson, who remains with the team while holding out for a new contract.

The Chargers didn’t trade Jackson, who will complete a three-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy this week, by the Wednesday afternoon deadline. Had Jackson been moved, he could have played as early as Week 5.

Now, he’ll have to serve another a three-game suspension on the roster exempt list if he does sign with the Chargers or is sent elsewhere.

Seattle will be without starting linebacker Leroy Hill for several games with an injury to the Achilles’ area of his right leg. The injury was originally announced as a calf strain.

Hill made his season debut last week after being suspended for the season opener following his arrest in Georgia on a marijuana possession charge.

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