Easton Stick guided the Los Angeles Chargers to their only points in a 15-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in a preseason game Sunday at SoFi Stadium, where they were shut out in the second half.
The Chargers reversed their quarterback rotation from their preseason opener eight days earlier, giving Stick the start and putting Chase Daniel into the game at the start of the second half. The two are competing to be the backup behind Justin Herbert, who coach Brandon Staley has said will not play in the preseason.
The Chargers (1-1) scored twice on their six possessions with Stick in their first home game at SoFi Stadium with fans in attendance. Stick threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to receiver Joshua Palmer, a third-round choice in the 2021 draft, on their fourth possession. Michael Badgley kicked a 50-yard field goal with on their fifth possession.
The first two possessions ended with punts, the third when Jordan Willis sacked Stick in the end zone for a safety with 10 minutes, 38 seconds left in first half, three plays after Mitch Wishnowsky punted 50 yards to the Chargers’ 5-yard line.
The sixth possession consisted of one play — Stick kneeling for a 1-yard loss to run out the clock in the first half before a crowd announced at 68,327, 464 less than the crowd announced at 68,791 for the Los Angeles Rams-Chargers preseason game Aug. 14 at SoFi Stadium, a Rams home game and the first NFL game at SoFi Stadium with fans.
Stick completed 10 of 14 passes for 85 yards and one touchdown. The Chargers’ fifth-round choice in the 2019 NFL draft out of North Dakota State was sacked three times and had a passer rating of 110.7.
The passer rating is on a scale from zero to 158.3 based on completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdowns per attempt and interceptions per attempt.
The Chargers were scoreless on Daniel’s seven possessions, five of which ended in punts. Daniel has a pass intercepted by safety Jared Mayden on his third possession.
The seventh consisted of two plays before time expired a sack of Daniel and a pass to running back Larry Rountree, who was tackled at the Chargers’ 12-yard line for no gain.
Daniel completed 14 of 21 passes for 60 yards with one interception and was sacked twice. His passer rating was 50.3
With Stick at quarterback in the first half, the Chargers led 10-9 in first downs and 16:08-13:52 in time of possession, but were outgained 140-119. The Chargers converted one of five third downs, 20%, the 49ers two of seven, 28.6%.
The Chargers were penalized eight times in the first half for 75 yards, San Francisco six times for 57 yards.
In the second half, the Chargers were outgained, 141-43, trailed 6-5 in first downs and 15:09-14:51 in time of possession. The Chargers converted one of six third downs, 16.7%, the 49ers three of eight, 37.5%.
The Chargers were penalized four times for 30 yards in the second half, San Francisco seven times for 61 yards.
The 49ers scored the lone touchdown of the second half on a 16-yard pass from Trey Lance to Travis Benjamin with 5:01 left in the third quarter. Benjamin played for the Chargers from 2017-19.
Overall, the Chargers were outgained, 281-162 but led 30:59-29:01 in time of possession. Both teams had 15 first downs. The Chargers converted two of 11 third downs, 18.2%, the 49ers five of 15, 33.3%.
The Chargers were penalized 12 times for 105 yards, the 49ers 13 times for 118 yards.
“Eason and Chase were under pressure” from San Francisco’s pass rush “and I thought that both of them handled it pretty well,” Staley said.
“I thought Eason in the first half was outstanding, avoiding trouble and keeping us on schedule,” Staley said. “I felt Chase gave us a chance in the second half. It was tough sledding out there.”
Jimmy Garoppolo quarterbacked the 49ers (1-1) for the first series, a 15-play, 50-yard drive that consumed seven minutes, 27 seconds and ended when a Garoppolo pass was intercepted by cornerback Asante Samuel Jr., a second-round choice in the 2021 draft.
Garoppolo completed three of six passes for 15 yards with one interception for a 16.7 passer rating.
Lance, the third player chosen in the 2021 draft, quarterbacked the 49ers for the next six series, throwing two touchdown passes and one interception. The other three drives ended with punts.
Lance, who succeeded Stick as North Dakota State’s quarterback, completed eight of 14 passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns and was sacked twice. His passer rating was 89.9.
“He was playing well,” Garoppolo said. “Like all rookies, there’s room for improvement, but overall, I thought he had command out there.”
Lance’s 41-yard pass to Trent Sherfield was the game’s longest play, moving the ball from San Francisco’s 46-yard line to the Chargers’ 13. Following a neutral zone infraction by the Chargers and a 3-yard pass from Lance to Brandon Aiyuk, Lance threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Mohamed Sanu with 12 seconds left in the first half.
Lance ran for an apparent 2-point conversion after the touchdown pass to Sanu, but it was nullified by an holding penalty. Robbie Gould’s 43-yard extra point attempt hit the right upright.
Nate Sudfeld quarterbacked the 49ers for their final five possessions, four of which ended with punts and the fifth on a fumble by Sudfeld.
Sudfeld completed three of five passes for 24 yards. He had a 72.1 passer rating. He signed with San Francisco as a free agent in April after playing four games over the previous four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.