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San Diego Chargers Dominate Second Half to Beat Jets
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The San Diego Chargers made their final road game of the season a memorable one, coming into the Meadowlands and dominating the Jets for the victory.
The Chargers got off to a quick start on Sunday, taking a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game. After forcing a three-and-out, Micheal Spurlock returned a Robert Malone punt 63-yards for a touchdown. The Jets responded quickly, however, as Shonn Green plunged into the end zone from one yard out to tie the game at seven apiece. After the Bolts went three-and-out on their first offensive series of the day, Greg McElroy engineered a second straight scoring drive as Green once against rushed for a one-yard TD. At the end of one, the Jets led 14-7.
The Bolts were driving into Jets territory when a couple of holding penalties stalled the drive. Still, they were able to put points on the board as Nick Novak drilled a long 51-yard field goal. The rest of the quarter was a defensive standstill as the teams went to half with the Jets up 14-10.
Philip Rivers got the second half started in strong fashion, connecting with Danario Alexander on a deep 38-yard touchdown strike on third down for a 17-14 lead. After a number of punts, the Bolts finished the quarter out in historic fashion as Antonio Gates caught his 82nd career touchdown pass, the most in franchise history. The score gave the Bolts a 24-14 lead heading into the third quarter.
Photo Gallery: Chargers vs. Jets | Gates' History of TD's | More Photos
A Corey Lynch interception set up a Nick Novak field goal that extended the lead to 27-14. The Jets scored their first points of the second half on their next drive on a Nick Folk field goal to make it a 27-17 game.
The Jets started their first drive at their own 40-yard line. McElroy hit Chaz Schillens for a big catch and run that put the Jets close but they settled for a Nick Folk field goal to make it 27-17. The Bolts went to the ground and pound with Jackie Battle for six plays before punting it away. New York tried to go into a no-huddle offense but Shaun Phillips got a sack-fumble on McElroy and recovered it himself. Not risking anything, San Diego ran it three times and punted it back to the Jets. The Bolts defensive line went to work and caused three sacks on the next four plays to seal the Chargers win.
The Chargers had just taken a 10 point lead, 24-14, when Corey Lynch came up with a game-changing interception. The safety stepped in front of Greg McElroy’s intended receiver on a 3rd-and-10 to pick off the ball at midfield. Lynch then weaved his way down to the Jets 20-yard line, setting up a field goal that extended the Bolts lead to 27-14.
It Was Over When…
San Diego recorded three sacks in a span of four plays to get the ball back with less than a minute remaining in the game. With the victory in the bag, all Philip Rivers had to do was take a knee and head into the locker room victorious.
Play of the Game
The play of the game for the Chargers occurred the very first time they touched the ball. Micheal Spurlock caught a 53-yard punt at his own 37-yard line less than two minutes into the game and sprinted straight up the field. As he got to the Jets’ 46-yard line, sensing daylight, he cut hard to his left. After stiff-arming the punter Robert Malone at the 38-yard line, Spurlock raced up the field. Aided by a strong block by Brandon Taylor on New York’s Garrett McIntyre, he tip-toed the left sideline all the way into the end zone for an early 7-0 lead.
Stat of the Game
The Chargers tied a franchise record with 11 sacks. Kendall Reyes led the way with 3.5.
“We’re looking forward to getting back home and playing the (Oakland) Raiders and I hope we can create a positive energy when we get home. Our guys responded today” – Head Coach Norv Turner
“It was good to come in here and get the win. I wouldn’t say it was satisfying, that’s not the word because it doesn’t change the 2009 game or last year’s game that started a six game losing skid. But anytime you come on the road and win it’s big. And to see our guys rally under the circumstances and get a win, it was big.” – Quarterback Philip Rivers
“I’ve never been a part of a team that had 11 sacks. The most I’ve ever seen has been six, maybe seven.” – Linebacker Takeo Spikes
“It felt great. I feel blessed to have the opportunity I’ve been in. It just feels good. It’s crazy. Going into a game you expect to win, but you never know how you’ll get there. It’s just unreal we did it with 11 sacks.” – Defensive End Kendall Reyes
Odds and Ends
Micheal Spurlock’s punt return for a touchdown was the team’s first since 2009.
The Bolts forced two turnovers while committing zero.
Kendall Reyes recorded 3.5 sacks while Shaun Phillips had 2.5. Reyes 3.5 sacks were the most by a Chargers rookie since Leslie O'Neal had five back in 1986.
Jackie Battle led all San Diego rushers with 49 yards while Danario Alexander led the way with three catches for 69 yards.
The inactives today included Edwin Baker, Jonas Mouton, Demorrio Williams, Stephen Schilling, Mike Willie, Ladarius Green and Aubrayo Franklin.
Changes to the starting lineup included Cam Thomas for Aubrayo Franklin at defensive tackle, Eddie Royal for Robert Meachem at wide receiver and Jackie Battle for Ronnie Brown at running back.
The Chargers reported the following injuries: Kyle Nelson – ribs, Brandon Taylor – knee, Shareece Wright - shoulder Read