Posted: Sunday, August 20, 2017 – 8:54 PM
(CNS) – The Los Angeles Chargers offense was held scoreless in a 13-7 loss to the New Orleans Saints in a preseason game at StubHub Center Sunday.
The Chargers avoided their first shutout in a completed preseason game since 1975 when safety Dexter McCoil intercepted a pass by Ryan Nassib and returned it 99 yards for a touchdown with eight minutes, 52 seconds to play.
(The Chargers tied Green Bay, 0-0, in the 1980 Hall of Fame game that was stopped due to severe thunder and lightning with 5:29 left to play.)
The game was expected to be a matchup of the quarterbacks who started all but one regular-season and postseason game for the Chargers since 2004, Drew Brees and Philip Rivers. However, neither played.
Kellen Clemens got the start and played the entire first half, when the Chargers went scoreless on seven possessions, punting five times, turning the ball over on downs once and having the ball when the half ended.
The Chargers deepest first-half penetration was to New Orleans’ 36-yard- line 1:46 before halftime when Andre Williams was tackled for a one-yard loss on fourth-and-one.
Clemens completed 10 of 17 passes for 99 yards and was sacked four times, a week after he had two passes intercepted and lost a fumble, which the Seattle Seahawks converted into 17 points in a 48-17 victory.
Cardale Jones quarterbacked the Chargers in the second half. Their best drive ended with 7:34 left in the third quarter when Jamaal Jones fumbled a short pass at the Saints 10-yard line and the ball was recovered by Manti Te’o, who played for the Chargers from 2013-16.
Jones completed seven of 15 passes for 61 yards and had his last pass intercepted.
The Chargers (0-2) were outgained 265 yards to 158, trailed 15-13 in first downs but led 32:10-27:50 in time of possession.
The announced attendance of 21,197 at the 27,000-seat StubHub Center was 143 more than the announced attendance of 21,054 for the Chargers preseason opener a week earlier.
Attendance at NFL preseason games is typically lower than the regular season. The Chargers are sold out of season tickets and have a waiting list. A limited number of premium seats remain available.
New Orleans (1-1) got a 50-yard touchdown run from rookie Alvin Kamara on their first play and a 53-yard field goal from Will Lutz on their second possession. Lutz kicked a 26-yard field goal with 2:11 to play.
Chase Daniel started at quarterback for the Saints for the second consecutive week, played the entire first half, completing seven of 12 passes for 63 yards on six possessions. Nassib completed six of 15 passes for 55 yards and one touchdown.