Winners And Losers From The Chargers Preseason Week 1

The Chargers beat the Rams 34-17 their first preseason win. Who impressed and who didn't in the Chargers preseason

The first Chargers preseason game was on Saturday, earning their first win against the Rams. There were some bad, some good, and a few pretty memorable moments. Let’s take a look at the losers and winners of the Chargers preseason game.

Chargers Preseason Winners and Losers


NFL: Preseason-Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Cornerback AJ Uzodinma

Uzodinma didn’t have the best preseason debut. During the Rams first drive of the third quarter, he missed a tackle on wide receiver Tyler Johnson, and linebacker Daiyan Henley had to get Johnson out of bounds. Unfortunately, Johnson had already gotten the first down. On the Rams third drive of that quarter, Uzodinma got Johnson out of bounds late, after he had already gotten the first down. And then during the fourth quarter, Uzodinma had a pass interference penalty, giving the Rams another set of downs. This marked his second penalty of the game. Uzodinma didn’t advocate for himself in this matchup, so he’ll need the other preseason games to turn this around.

  1. Safety JT Woods

According to Pro Football Reference, Woods had two assisted tackles, which shows that he’s overcoming his issues in that area. Where his progression veers off course is during the second quarter when he got an unsportsmanlike conduct call for getting into it with receiver Ben Skowronek, contributing to a fresh set of downs for the Rams. As this isn’t Woods’s rookie year, he should know better. And if this had been an actual game, that would have had real consequences for the team.

  1. Left Tackle Foster Sarell

The offensive line was holding up well for most of the game. Players like Zion Johnson and Jamaree Salyer, who were in for a few reps, looked comfortable in their new guard positions. There were quite a few times where decent size holes were opened up for good run gains and Easton Stick had a lot of time to throw.

But at some point, things started to fall off and Foster Sarell in particular was not having a great game. When Stick was in, towards the start of the second quarter, outside linebacker Byron Young got around Sarell and sacked Stick. Ultimately the play was called back as Young grabbed Stick’s facemask, so the Chargers got a first down. During the third quarter, outside linebackers Daniel Hardy and Keir Thomas got around Sarell and Austen Pleasants at right tackle, to sack Max Duggan. In my Free Agency piece, I talked about Sarell’s growing pains. He’s a decent backup but hopefully, the Chargers don’t get to the point where they have to rely on him too much.


  1. Wide Receiver Derius Davis

Davis was looking good in the return specialist role for the few drives he played before splitting time with wide receiver Pokey Wilson. After the Rams had a three-and-out in the second quarter, Davis caught the punt return and proceeded to run it 81 yards in for a touchdown. He weaved in and out of traffic, eventually zigging to the sideline, running all the way along it until he made it to the end zone. He turned on that 4.36 speed and everyone was left in the dust. It was beautiful and he’s certainly solidified himself in this returner role.

NFL: Preseason-Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Running Back Elijah Dotson

Dotson had a runaway 37-yard touchdown in the fourth and another 40-yard touchdown not long after that. In these two breakaway moments, he turned on the jets and flew. I haven’t been hearing much about Dotson during camp, but I’m sure people will be taking notice of him after this game.

  1. Linebacker Daiyan Henley

Henley made some good tackles on Saturday and cleaned up the messes of other players. Like with Uzodinma, there was a similar situation in the second quarter where safety Mark Webb missed a tackle on Skowronek. He went to grab Skowronek by the shoulders and got flung across the sideline. Henley had to step in and get Skowronek out of bounds. Henley has been one of the ones to watch during camp, as he has a very physical presence in his play, and you could tell on Saturday that no one was going to get by him.

  1. Wide Receiver Quentin Johnston

Johnston certainly showed off on Saturday. He had a great catch for a third down conversion during the first quarter and in the second, he and Stick connected for a touchdown with just a perfect throw by Stick, marking the only passing touchdown for the Chargers of the game. Johnston wasn’t perfect as he did have a drop and also wasn’t able to secure a deep throw from Stick, but he’s earning his first-round draft status so far.

  1. Kicker Cameron Dicker

Dicker was perfect during the game. He went two for two in field goals and four for four on extra points. His longest was from 50 yards, which was a distance he struggled to hit last year. He was very consistent, which is exactly what you want when you’re looking for the lone kicker for your team.

Honorable Mention

  1. Quarterback Max Duggan

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to put him in the winner or losers column this week, so I thought I would make him an outlier. His passing yardage wasn’t that high but he was sacked the most, which may have lessened his stats. He had a couple of nice scrambles, including one in the fourth quarter that got them a first down, and the Dotsun 40-yard touchdown run followed a few plays later. I do want to see more of his passing in the next couple of games because that was not on display here. There was nothing too bad or too good to call out, so for now, he’s in his own category.