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Chargers Up 21-17 at Half
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It didn’t take long for the San Diego Chargers to jump out to a 7-0 lead and show the Tampa Bay Buccaneers they came to play. It took three plays actually.
Behind three first-half touchdown passes by quarterback Philip Rivers, the Chargers lead the Buccaneers 21-17 at halftime.
The Bolts received the ball to start the game and on third down-and-10 from their own 20-yard line, Rivers found wide receiver Danario Alexander for an 80-yard touchdown catch to give San Diego a 7-0 lead less than one minute into the game.
But the Buccaneers responded quickly with a nine-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. Running back Doug Martin hauled in a 42-yard reception to set up a three-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Josh Freeman to tight end Dallas Clark to tie the score at seven.
Yet, the Chargers offense was firing on all cylinders. San Diego again marched 80 yards down the field, capped by a 13-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to tight end Antonio Gates over the middle to put the Chargers up 14-7. The touchdown was Gates’ fourth of the season and 80th of his career, one shy of Lance Alworth’s club record.
Early in the second quarter, Tampa Bay cut the deficit to 14-10 when Connor Barth knocked in a 40-yard field goal.
On the ensuing series, the Buccaneers took the lead for the first time in the game when Dekoda Watson blocked a Mike Scifres punt, which was recovered by Adam Hayward and returned 29 yards for a touchdown to give the Buccaneers the 17-14 lead.
But Rivers was not done. With 27 seconds left in the first half, Rivers threw to wide receiver Malcolm Floyd for a three-yard touchdown, capping off a first half that featured three 80-yard touchdown drives for the Chargers.
Rivers finished the first half with 218 yards and three touchdowns on 16-of-18 passing, while Alexander hauled in two receptions for 94 yards and one touchdown.