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After recovering a fumble late in the third quarter, the Chargers faced a third-and-eight on Carolina’s 22-yard line. A pass interference call on the Panthers would give the Chargers an automatic first down at the nine-yard line.
On first-and-goal, the Chargers finally got on the scoreboard when quarterback Philip Rivers found tight end Antonio Gates in the corner of the end zone for a nine-yard touchdown to make it 31-7 Panthers.
The touchdown was Gates’ 81st as a Charger, tying him with former wide receiver Lance Alworth for the all-time franchise record for touchdown receptions.
On the ensuing drive, the Panthers were forced to punt. After a 30-yard pass from Rivers to wide receiver Malcolm Floyd put the Chargers near the red zone, Rivers was sacked and stripped of the ball. The Panthers recovered on their own 23-yard line with just over 10 minutes left in the game.
With the game all but done, the Panthers continued to pound the ball up the middle with running backs Mike Tolbert and DeAngelo Williams in an effort to keep the clock running.
The Chargers would get the ball back with just under two minutes remaining in the game as they ran out the clock until the end of the game. The Panthers defeated the Chargers 31-7 to drop San Diego to 5-9.
Newton finished the game 19-of-33 for 231 yards and two touchdowns. Williams finished with 22 carries for 93 yards and two catches for 51 yards and one touchdown. Rivers finished the game 16-of-23 for 121 yards and one touchdown.
Beginning the second half on offense, the Chargers continued to struggle much like in the first half, again calling on Mike Scifres to punt.
The Panthers took over on their own 44-yard line with a 24-0 advantage. Riding the arm of quarterback Cam Newton and the feet of running back DeAngelo Williams, the Panthers found themselves with first-and-goal on the four-yard line. On first down, Newton found wide receiver Steve Smith for a four-yard touchdown to make it 31-0 Panthers. The touchdown was Newton’s second of the day.
The Chargers took over on their 20-yard line, looking to finally get something going out offense. Yet after another three-and-out, Scifres punted for the fifth time of the game.
After taking over near midfield, the Panthers were unable to get anything going on offense and punted.
The Chargers were able to get a first down on their next drive, but just could not seem to move the ball consistently and punted again.
After the punt rolled into the end zone for a touchback, the Panthers took over on their own 20-yard line looking to pile on the points. But the Chargers caught a break, as cornerback Antoine Cason cause Williams to fumble, which would be recovered by outside linebacker Larry English on Carolina’s 38-yard line.
Trailing 21-0 after one quarter of play, the San Diego Chargers took over possession to begin the second quarter.
After gaining three first downs, the offense stalled, forcing another punt by Mike Scifres.
Starting on their own four-yard line, the Panthers had their drive extended by a defensive holding call on the Chargers. With extra life, quarterback Cam Newton led the Panthers near midfield, but Carolina was forced to punt after failing to convert on third-and-three. Yet, on the punt, outside linebacker Larry English was called for roughing the punter. Again, the Panthers would get new life thanks to penalties on the Chargers. But this time, the Chargers defense got the stop on third-and-18.
Taking over for running back Ryan Mathews, who injured his shoulder earlier in the game, Jackie Battle was able to grab a first down just before the two-minute warning, but Chargers were forced to punt again.
Taking over at their own 24-yard line, the Panthers drove into Chargers territory. After a first-and-goal at the 15-yard line, Carolina had three unsuccessful attempts to the end zone and settled for a 33-yard field goal by Graham Gano with six seconds left in the half.
Quarterback Philip Rivers finished the half 8-of-13 passing for 45 yards. The Chargers only accounted for 67 total yards at the half. On the opposing sideline, Newton was 14-of-27 for 194 yards and one touchdown. Running back DeAngelo Williams led all rushers and receivers with seven carries for 35 yards and two catches for 51 yards and a touchdown.
The Carolina Panthers started the game with the ball and proceeded to drive 80-yards to take the 7-0 lead before the San Diego Chargers could even touch the ball.
Early in the drive, quarterback Cam Newton found wide receiver Steve Smith for a 17-yard gain, which put the Panthers in San Diego territory. Following the play, cornerback Antoine Cason was flagged for unnecessary roughness for an additional 15 yards. Later in the drive, Newton converted a fourth-and-one at the Chargers 1-yard line to bring up first-and-goal. On the next play, fullback Mike Tolbert leapt over the line for a 1-yard touchdown.
On the Chargers opening drive of the game, quarterback Philip Rivers went back for a pass, but as he cocked his arm, the ball slipped out of his hand, resulting in a fumble. The Panthers took over on the San Diego 21-yard line and converted the turnover into another seven points on Tolbert’s second touchdown run of the quarterback.
The Chargers offense remained stagnant, as it produced a three-and-out on San Diego’s second drive of the game.
After a 59-yard punt by Mike Scifres, Newton and the Panthers offense took over on their own 28-yard line. After driving into San Diego territory, Newton’s short pass was tipped by outside linebacker Jarret Johnson. Fortunately for the Panthers, the ball landed in the hands of running back DeAngelo Williams, who took it 45-yards for the touchdown to make it 21-0 in favor of the Panthers.
The San Diego Chargers (5-8) return to Qualcomm Stadium to take on the Carolina Panthers (4-9) in a Week 15 matchup.
The Panthers, who are coming off a 30-20 over the NFC South Division champion Atlanta Falcons last week, have won two of their last three games are led by second-year quarterback Cam Newton. Newton, the 2011 Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year, has thrown for 3,220 yards and 16 touchdowns on 227-of-390 passing in 13 games this season. Yet his biggest threat may be his running ability, as he has rushed for 640 yards and seven touchdowns this season. In his past six games, Newton has completed 60 percent of his passes for 1,519 yards and 15 touchdowns against only two interceptions. He has not thrown an interception in his last four games.
The Chargers got back in the win column last week, defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-24, their first-ever regular season victory in Pittsburgh, to halt a four-game losing streak.
One of the bright spots for the Bolts has been the emergence of wide receiver Danario Alexander, who accounted for 88 receiving yards and two touchdowns on seven catches in the win over Pittsburgh. In his seven games this season, Alexander has totaled 33 receptions for 555 yards and five touchdowns.
The inactives for San Diego today are wide receiver Eddie Royal, running back Ronnie Brown, inside linebackers Donald Butler and Demorrio Williams, tackle Jeromey Clary, guard Tyronne Green and tight end Ladarius Green.
With Brown out, running back Ryan Mathews is expected to have his number of touches increased. Also, outside linebacker Gary Guyton will be making the start today in place of Butler. Guyton, who was signed on Wednesday, spent the previous four years with the New England Patriots, but was not with a team to start this season. Read