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Chargers beat Packers but lose RB Ryan Mathews

  • By Associated Press
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SAN DIEGO -- Shannon Eastin made history. Some of the players she was officiating made it look ugly.

Eastin became the first woman to officiate an NFL game, serving as the line judge in the San Diego Chargers' 21-13 preseason victory over the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night.

"I think it's exciting for her," said Chargers coach Norv Turner, who took a photo with Eastin before the game. "She was confident and in control."

The preseason opener for both teams was predictably sloppy at times, filled with fumbles, interceptions and missed assignments.

Philip Rivers had a touchdown, an interception and a fumble in limited action for the Chargers. Rookie Jarrett Lee got most of the snaps, throwing for 235 yards and a touchdown.

Aaron Rodgers had an interception and a fumble in three series for the Packers. "We didn't play as well as we want to, but it's preseason," Rodgers said.

Many of the players still need some work after their first preseason performances.

Rodgers fumbled on Green Bay's first series, setting up a 23-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to Antonio Gates. Green Bay's Diondre Borel fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Chargers recovered, but Tramon Williams stepped in front of Robert Meacham to intercept Rivers' pass two plays later.

The Chargers also lost a fumble on a handoff exchange between Rivers and Michael Hayes on the first play of the next series.

Rivers was 3 for 5 for 37 yards and was done after his fumble.

Rodgers threw for 16 yards on 2-of-8 passing.

Worse yet were some key injuries. Green Bay entered the game with 18 players not in uniform and most were because of injuries, including receiver Greg Jennings and left tackle Marshall Newhouse.


The coaches of the NFL weigh in on a number of hot-button topics in the league, including Andrew Luck vs. RG3, Tim Tebow, challenge flag etiquette, the Packers' QB tree and the 2012 Hall of Fame class.

The list grew longer early in the first quarter when starting linebacker Desmond Bishop went down after a group of players fell on his right leg while he was finishing a tackle. He was unable to put any weight on his leg while being helped to the sideline.

The Chargers lost starting running back Ryan Mathews after he broke his clavicle on his first carry of the preseason. He's scheduled to have surgery on Friday and is expected to be out 4-to-6 weeks.

"It's disappointing," Rivers said. "You hate it for him, first of all, and then obviously it affects the team. It's just unfortunate -- first carry of the season -- but he'll still bounce back and have a great year."

Lee, who was undrafted out of LSU, hit Vincent Brown on a 27-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter and also helped set up Curtis Brinkley's 1-yard dive that made it 21-13 with just under 2 minutes left. He finished 15 of 22.

Graham Harrell, trying to solidify his spot as the No. 2 quarterback behind Rodgers, had some bad misses early. But he hit Randall Cobb on a 23-yard pass that set up a 3-yard touchdown between the two in the closing seconds of the first half and finished 15 of 27 for 135 yards.

"We did some good things at times and then we went through some rough patches," Harrell said. "Hopefully, we will get better."

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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