SAN DIEGO - Seattle Seahawks took the wind out of the San Diego Chargers' sails late in their first preseason game of the 2011-12 season on Thursday night..
Thomas Clayton's 25-yard touchdown run with just over three minutes left in the fourth quarter capped a comeback and sent Seattle past San Diego, 24-17, in the preseason opener for both clubs at Qualcomm Stadium.
Charlie Whitehurst saw the majority of the snaps, going 14-of-20 for 115 yards for the Seahawks, who finished 7-9 a year ago and became the first team in NFL history to win their division with a losing record.
Tarvaris Jackson, pegged as the successor to the departed Matt Hasselbeck, completed three of five attempts for 13 yards but was sacked twice.
Leon Washington added a rushing score. while Anthony McCoy hauled in a six- yard TD pass in the final stanza.
Philip Rivers took a seat after connecting on 5-of-6 passes for 87 yards and a first-quarter touchdown to Mike Tolbert for the Chargers, who went 9-7 a year ago but finished out of postseason contention.
Vincent Jackson led all receivers with 54 yards on a pair of catches.
Bryan Walters returned a kickoff 103 yards late in the third quarter, which gave the Chargers a 17-10 edge, but Josh Portis connected with McCoy for a score with just over four minutes showing to tie the game.
On San Diego's next possession, Scott Tolzien was sacked and coughed up the football, giving the Seahawks possession on the Chargers' 22. They needed two plays lasting 57 seconds to forge ahead on Clayton's scamper.
Tolbert hauled in an eight-yard scoring pass from Rivers to cap an 89-yard drive for the lone score of the opening period, then Nate Kaeding hit from 32 yards out for a 10-0 game in the second.
Washington's one-yard run put Seattle on the board in the third quarter, then Brandon Coutu made a 28-yarder to knot the score at 10-10.