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Chargers Click on All Cylinders to Beat Giants 37-14

Posted Dec 8, 2013

Chargers clicked in all facets of the game to send the Giants back to New York with a 37-14 loss.

Chargers clicked in all facets of the game to send the Gaints back to New York with a 37-14 loss.

Photo Gallery: Giants vs. Chargers | More Photos

The Giants won the toss and opted to receive.  On 3rd-and-2, Jahleel Addae broke up a pass intended for Brandon Myers to force a quick punt.  The Bolts picked up a first down on a pass to Vincent Brown, but the drive stalled at the 50-yard line and Mike Scifres punted the ball out of bounds at the 11-yard line.  Two plays later, Eli Manning connected with Hakeem Nicks on a 51-yard pass to the Chargers 32 yard line.  On the very next play though, Shareece Wright deflected a ball to Donald Butler, who ran 30 yards to bring the ball back to midfield.  Facing 3rd-and-3, Philip Rivers launched a perfect deep bomb to Keenan Allen who sprinted up the right sideline and dove for the pylon for a 43-yard touchdown, putting the Bolts up 7-0.  The Giants managed to pick up a couple first downs, but Eric Weddle wrangled Brandon Myers to the ground six yards shy of the sticks on third down to force a Steve Weatherford punt that backed the Bolts up to their own six yard line. Allen picked up a first down on another key third down conversion, and the catch established a new Chargers record for receptions by a rookie. Unfortunately, Allen injured his shoulder on the play and headed into the locker room, though he would later return.

The second quarter began with a Ronnie Brown catch on third down, and three plays later Antonio Gates picked up a first down on another key conversion, putting the Chargers at the Giants’ 26-yard line.   However, they weren’t able to get much further than that and settled for a 36-yard Nick Novak field goal and a 10-0 lead. Pass breakups by Wright and Richard Marshall sandwiched by a Jarret Johnson run stuff forced an immediate punt back to the Bolts, and San Diego took over at their own 33-yard line.  On 3rd-and-12, Antonio Gates went for 15 yards.  Catches by Vincent Brown, Danny Woodhead and two strong plays by Ryan Mathews had the Chargers at the four yard line. Two plays later, Allen caught his second touchdown of the game in the left corner of the end zone to give San Diego a 17-0 lead.  The defense came back with another great play, forcing a fumble when Reggie Walker and Melvin Ingram combined to tackle Andre Brown.  The runner was initially ruled down by contact, but a smart challenge by Head Coach Mike McCoy proved the ball was out.  A nifty run by Woodhead and a 23-yard catch-and-run by Gates had the Chargers at the two yard line.  After a false start pushed them back to the seven, Rivers hit Danny Woodhead in the flat for his third throwing touchdown of the day, and more importantly, a 24-0 lead heading into half.

On the first play of the third quarter, the ball slipped out of Rivers' hand as he was pressured by Justin Tuck, and the ball was ruled a fumble.   The Giants took over at the 18-yard line and eventually got into the end zone on a one-yard plunge by Peyton Hillis, making it a 24-7 game.  Back with the ball, the Bolts grinded it out on the ground with seven straight runs into Giants territory.  On third down, Vincent Brown went deep and forced linebacker Spencer Paysinger to pull him down in the end zone for pass interference, putting the ball at the one-yard line.  After getting stopped twice, Mathews ran left off tackle and walked into the end zone after strong Bolts blocking for a 31-7 lead.  Led by Andre Brown, the Giants had their best drive of the day and had the ball at the five yard line as the third quarter came to an end.

Brandon Myers made it 31-14 immediately once play resumed on a short touchdown reception.  On third down, Woodhead outmuscled a defender down field on a jump ball, tipping it to himself twice before coming down with a 39-yard reception. Mathews and Vincent Brown helped get the ball down to the four yard line where the Chargers settled for another Nick Novak field goal and a 34-14 advantage.  The Giants drove down to midfield, and it looked like Donald Butler had his second INT of the day on a very athletic dive for the ball, but review showed it hit the ground for an incompletion. Two plays later on fourth down, Thomas Keiser and Corey Liuget converged to sack Eli Manning, turning the ball over on downs. The Chargers sent Charlie Whitehurst in for Rivers on the next offensive drive which resulted in a Nick Novak 43-yard field goal putting the Chargers up 37-14.  On the ensuing drive, Shareece Wright picks off Eli Manning to seal the ball game. Chargers took a knee to wind the clock down to zero with a final score of 37-14.

Turning Point

The Chargers were up 17-0 late in the first half when a tremendous play by the defense and offense combined to put the game out of reach.  Melvin Ingram got in on a tackle of Andre Brown and Reggie Walker pried the ball loose.  The turnover set up a Danny Woodhead touchdown catch in the flat with 19 seconds remaining in the second quarter to make it 24-0 and the Bolts never looked back.

It was Over When…

On 3rd-and-goal from the one, Ryan Mathews waltzed into the end zone after Le’Ron McClain and John Philips sealed the edge.  The score put the Bolts up 31-7 with 5:06 remaining in the third quarter, and any dreams the Giants had of a miracle comeback vanished.

Play of the Game

The first of two touchdown catches by Keenan Allen was a beauty.  On third down, the rookie took off from the line of scrimmage up the right sideline and Philip Rivers hit him perfectly in stride.  Allen bolted 43-yards up the sideline, tiptoeing his way in bounds before leaping for the pylon to give the Chargers a 7-0 lead.

Stat of the Game

Keenan Allen’s second of three catches on the day established a Chargers rookie record for receptions in a season, besting LaDainian Tomlinson.  Overall, Allen now has 61 catches with three weeks remaining.

Bolt Quotebook

“An outstanding team performance. Offensively, putting points on the board the way we did.  The defense coming out getting three turnovers and finishing the game off with an interception.  Special teams flying around making some big plays.  The passion of our football team was there today.” – Head Coach Mike McCoy

“The atmosphere was great.  The fans were very excited, I can tell you that.  They were excited, pumped up and we got the ‘W’ for them which is always great.  We’re really amped up.  To get a win when the fans are like they were today, there’s nothing better.” – Right Tackle D.J. Fluker

“To set a franchise record meant a lot, but at the same time if I did it and we didn’t get a ‘W’ it wouldn’t have meant anything.  So it was definitely more special to have it come in a win.” – Wide receiver Keenan Allen

“We executed today. It wasn’t perfect, but we bounced back and that’s what we’ve got to do every week.  It was fun to have everyone out there and to know that we’re finally coming around as a team, it was definitely positive.” – Inside Linebacker Manti Te’o

“It felt good. We were excited.  We were running around making plays.  When you do that, you can’t help but have a smile on your face.” – Inside Linebacker Donald Butler

“(Today) was about the defense, challenging yourself as a man, and I’m going to go out there and lay it on the line for my team.” – Outside Linebacker Melvin Ingram 

“It was great to have a victory like this – to get out early and maintain the lead, come out at halftime and have bad things happen and weather that.  It wasn’t like it was easy going the whole game.” – Outside linebacker Jarret Johnson

Odds and Ends

Philip Rivers finished the game 21 of 28 for 249 yards and three touchdowns for a 137.4 passer rating.

Ryan Mathews led all rushers with a career-high 29 attempts for 103 yards and one touchdown.

Danny Woodhead and Antonio Gates each paced the club with four receptions, while Keenan Allen had a team-high 59 yards receiving and two scores. 

Marcus Gilchrist led the team with seven tackles.

The Chargers finished the game 10 for 15 (67%) on third down.

San Diego had a season-high three turnovers on defense with picks by Donald Butler and Shareece Wright, and a fumble forced by Reggie Walker recovered by Marcus Gilchrist.

The Bolts dominated time of possession 36:56 to 23:04.

Inactives for the Chargers include: Brad Sorensen, Lavelle Hawkins, Brandon Taylor, Stephen Schilling, Kenny Wiggins and Kwame Geathers.

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