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In Nailbiter Finish, Chargers Beat Eagles 33-30
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In a nailbiter finish, the Chargers kick a field goal in the final seconds to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 33-30.
Philadelphia won the toss, but the Chargers stopped them at midfield forcing a punt. Starting at their own 10-yard line, Philip Rivers drove the offense to the Eagles 31, where Nick Novak drilled a 49-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead. The Eagles responded with a quick scoring drive, as a LeSean McCoy 70-yard reception had the Eagles at 1st and-goal. John Pagano’s defense held strong, however, limiting the damage to a field goal which tied the game at three apiece. Back with the ball, San Diego began the drive at its own seven yard line. With a strong balance of running and passing plays, the Chargers ended the 1st quarter with a 1st-and-10 at the 14 yard line.
On the second play of the quarter, Philip Rivers made an adjustment at the line of scrimmage which led to an 11-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Royal. The score capped an 11-play, 93-yard drive that spanned 6:23. After the defense forced a three-and-out, Rivers took over at his own 21-yard line. He commanded a drive that resulted in Novak’s second field goal of the game, a 44-yarder for a 13-3 lead. Philly responded in haste, as four plays later Vick threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Riley Cooper, trimming the Bolts lead to 13-10. The Chargers looked poised to put points on the board, but Antonio Gates fumbled at the two yard line, giving the Eagles the ball back. After forcing a three-and-out, the Chargers had 1:13 on the clock starting at midfield. The series started with a 31-yard reception by Malcom Floyd but ended abruptly after a Ryan Mathews fumble, the Chargers second fumble within the 10-yard line.
The second half started in frightening fashion, as Malcom Floyd was struck hard to the neck area forced to leave the game on a stretcher. His replacement, Keenan Allen, came in and made the first catch of his career on a clutch third-down reception. Eddie Royal also made a terrific completion on third-down for 21 yards along the sideline, putting the Bolts into Philly territory. Later in the drive, on the team’s third 3rd down, Rivers had all day to throw and found Royal for a 24-yard touchdown. With that, the Chargers led 20-10. Michael Vick marched the Eagles right back down the field, but the Chargers defense stopped them at the 30-yard line, forcing a 46 yard field goal. With that, the Chargers led 20-13, but they went three-and out on the ensuing possession. Two plays later, Vick hit DeSean Jackson for a 61 yard touchdown, tying the game at 20-20. The Bolts strung together three first downs and had the ball at the 50-yard line heading into the final 15 minutes of action.
After picking up two more first downs, Novak kicked his third field goal of the game, a 33-yarder, to put San Diego up 23-20. The Eagles stormed right back, piecing together a long drive culminating in a Michael Vick touchdown run. On the ensuing kickoff, the Chargers fumbled the kickoff but luckily recovered it at midfield. Rivers and his offense then responded, putting together a 7 play, 39-yard drive ending in Eddie Royal's third TD catch on the day, setting his career high TD catches in a game. Vick came back on the field marching the Eagles offense deep into Chargers territory. On third down, Marcus Gilchrist makes a huge play to hold the Eagles to a field goal, tying up the game 30-30. With 1:45 left on the clock, the Chargers offense came back on the field. The Chargers dilligently get down to the Eagles 27-yard line where they took their last timeout for Nick Novak to line up for the game winning 47-yard field goal.
You may think the offense driving down the field with under two minutes remaining would be the turning point, and that’s correct. But it all started because the defense came through with a clutch stop when the Eagles were knocking on the door stop. In the red zone, the Chargers came up big three times in a row to limit the damage to a field goal and a tie game. That set up Philip Rivers to march down the field and allow Nick Novak to drill the game winner.
It was Over When…
The Eagles were in desperation mode. With four seconds remaining and on their own side of the field, they tried a number of laterals but it was in vain as the final seconds ticked away for the Chargers victory.
Play of the Game
One first down at the 15-yard line with the Chargers down four, Rivers snapped the ball and threw to his left to Eddie Royal. Number 11 made a quick juke, and aided by a monster block by D.J. Fluker, weaved in and out on his way to the touchdown.
Stat of the Game
The first win of the Mike McCoy-Tom Telesco era was also the 400th in team history.
“Our big thing is you have to have the right mindset in this game. You’ve got to believe and you’ve got to finish. We talked about it last week; we didn’t finish the game. We made too many mistakes. Today we finished, and that’s why you win football games in this league.” – Head Coach Mike McCoy
“Third downs were key. It’s a down you’ve got to win. It gives you another set of downs, and you’re ultimately moving the ball. The way we’re playing in the red zone right now, it’s big.” – Quarterback Philip Rivers
“With the game on the line and there’s one drive to win it, it’s about who has the most heart. At the end of the day, we came out and we won it. We were hungry for a win and we got it. We need that mindset. When we have that mindset, nobody can beat us.” – Offensive Tackle D.J. Fluker
“We had to stop them there. It was very important to limit them to the field goal. It was one of those drives that was going to test us. It tested our poise and how we play under pressure. We focused on that all camp – to play under pressure and not break.” – Cornerback Shareece Wright
“This is the best. It’s the best feeling in the world to win it like this.” – Center Nick Hardwick
Odds and Ends
San Diego finished 10-of-15 on third down.
The Chargers didn’t punt until 5:18 remaining in the third quarter.
The Bolts totaled 539 yards of offense while the Eagles totaled 511. The 539 yards were the most total yards for the franchise since 1985.
Philip Rivers completed 36 of 47 for 419 yards and three touchdowns. He had a passer rating of 124.3.
Ryan Mathews led the way on the ground, rushing for 73 yards on 16 attempts (4.5 yards per carry). Overall the Chargers ran for 126 yards.
Antonio Gates led the way with eight catches for 124 yards.
Danny Woodhead also had eight catches out of the backfield.
Eddie Royal set a career high with three touchdown catches.
Reggie Walker got the start at inside linebacker and had a key tackle early in the first quarter on McCoy.
Walker and Shareece Wright tied for a team-high five tackles.
Malcom Floyd left the game after suffering a neck injury on the first play of the third quarter. He recorded 102 yards on five catches in the first half.
San Diego dominated time of possession, 40:17 to 19:43.
Inactive for the Chargers were Brad Sorensen, Seyi Ajirotutu, Brandon Taylor, Manti Te’o, Terrell Manning, Johnnie Troutman and Drake Nevis. Read