The NFL Network kicks off their 2013 NFL football coverage on the west coast this evening with a week one preseason match between the Seattle Seahawks and San Diego Chargers. The Seahawks enter the new campaign looking to oust the 49ers and reach the Super Bowl. The Chargers are seeking an identity and carry more uncertainty than anything else into the new season.
Last season the Seahawks rode the arm and legs of rookie quarterback Russell Wilson into the playoffs and nearly into the Super Bowl. Wilson will be as scrutinized as 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick this season as both young gunslingers are tasked with proving their stellar rookie campaigns were par for the norm and not a fluke that will transform into a sophomore slump.
Wilson will be missing starting tight end Zach Miller as a target tonight as he’s struggling with a foot injury and is on the physically unable to perform list. Rookie Luke Willson has been given the nod to start in Miller’s place and will likely try to sieze the opportunity and prove he’s just as capable of starting as Miller is.
The Chargers and incumbant quarterback Philip Rivers come into the new season having to embrace a new offensive scheme by rookie head coach Mike McCoy and offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, formerly head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. Last year the Chargers offensive line finished last in the league, and one of the teams whose line was barely better was coached by Whisenhunt. It will be a long season for Rivers if his almost entirely new line, save for center Nick Hardwick, cannot give him enough time to complete a pass before being hurried or sacked.
Though tight end Antonio Gates is ready to go, wide receiver Danario Alexander suffered his fourth ACL tear and is sidelined indefinitely. He had been pegged as the number two receiver alongside Malcom Floyd. Look for rookie Keenan Allen and Eddie Royal to now battle for that spot.
Tonight’s NFL Network Thursday Night football game between the visiting Seattle Seahawks and San Diego Chargers will kick off at 10/9c exclusively over the air on the NFL Network in high definition (HD). NFL Network offers subscribers to their channel via a few select cable or satellite providers the ability to watch a free live online streaming version of the football game here on mobile phones, laptops, tablets/iPads or any Internet connected device. Seattle should come out on top tonight and I predict they will when by a 17-9 final score to wrap the first night of multiple NFL preseason games.