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Chargers Open Second Half with Best Drive of Season
For the majority of games this season, the Chargers entered halftime with a lead. Unfortunately, things have fallen apart in the second half, particularly on offense. In three of their last four games, the team didn’t score a touchdown in the second half.
Today, Philip Rivers and the offense came out of the tunnel to begin the third quarter determined to put an end to those struggles.
They succeeded in resounding fashion.
The Chargers opened the second half with a 17-play, 78-yard series that took 9:32. The drive, which was the second longest in the NFL this season, culminated with a three yard touchdown pass to Malcom Floyd that gave the Bolts a three score advantage with just over 5:28 to go in the third quarter.
“That was as good of a drive as we’ve had,” said head coach Norv Turner. “And the thing that I like about it is we had a lot of people involved. In this league, if you can put together a (17-play) drive, a lot of guys are doing things right. We mixed things up there. Philip handled everything extremely well. We had a couple big runs. A (17-play) drive is hard in any league, but they’re extremely hard in this league especially against this defense. I think it did set a tempo for the second half of the game."
The last time the Chargers had a touchdown drive of 17-plus plays was on Sept. 19, 2004 against the New York Jets. The last time they had a touchdown drive that lasted 9:32-plus was on Nov. 30, 1997 against the Denver Broncos.
“Best drive of the year,” Rivers said emphatically in his post-game press conference. “Best drive of the year. That one will be fun to watch over and over again. There were some third-down conversions and I end up with a touchdown. That was a heck of a drive. That’s what we haven’t been able to do in the third quarters.”
On the other side of the ball, the Chargers defense had an outstanding game. Still, they credited the opening drive of the second half as a turning point in the game. In fact, they fed off it immediately as 12 seconds following the touchdown, Quentin Jammer recovered a fumble in the end zone.
“The turning point of the game was definitely the drive to open the second half,” said Jarret Johnson. “They bled the clock and gave us momentum when we got on the field. It was huge. From that we got a turnover and a score and the game got out of reach.”