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Sun., Mar. 08, 2015 1:30 PM PDT
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Rivers' Bad Decision Turns Tide
The Chargers were trailing 24-21, but there was no need to panic. There was over 13 minutes remaining in the game and they were all the way down deep in Tampa Bay territory. It was 3rd-and-5, and even if they didn’t pick up the first down, the reliable Nick Novak would kick the chip shot field goal to tie the game.
But then Philip Rivers made the worst throw of the game, and possibly his career.
Rolling to his right, he forced a ball to Eddie Royal that instead went directly to the Bucs’ Leonard Johnson, who streaked 83 yards up the sideline for the pick-six and a 31-21 lead.
“Obviously there's a story to every interception,” said Rivers. “The intentions were obviously to throw it over (Johnson’s) head. Eddie was there. And I saw him the whole time. It just kind of stayed in my hand longer than I wanted it to and it kind of took a nose dive right to him.”
It was a fatal mistake that Rivers immediately knew was disastrous.
“Essentially one play can ruin a game and cost a game,” he said. “In hindsight, not only do I wish I threw it over his head, I probably shouldn’t have thrown the ball period. Kick a field goal and we tie it up. This game is played in quick decisions and I made the wrong one there.”
In his post-game press conference, head coach Norv Turner addressed the fateful interception and described how it turned the tide of the game.
“It’s a throw you can’t make,” said Turner. ”Obviously he should have thrown the ball away. Throw it out of bounds and we’re in a possession to kick a field goal to tie the game.”
Unfortunately, in a game of lightning quick decisions, Rivers made the wrong one, and it cost his team the victory.