It wasn't pretty, but the Bolts picked up a tough Week 15 win over the Titans on Sunday.
Here's a quick recap of the 17-14 win.
Keenan Allen and Sebastian Joseph-Day are today's captains for the Chargers, who won the toss and elected to defer. The Bolts started hot on defense with a three-and-out. The big development came when Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill was tackled by Khalil Mack on a third-down scramble and was injured. The Bolts started at their own 32 and quickly moved down the field with chunk plays to Donald Parham, Jr. through the air and Austin Ekeler on the ground. The Bolts soon faced fourth-and-2 at the Titans 20-yard line and went for it, converting on a 4-yard pass from Justin Herbert to Keenan Allen. The Chargers then found the end zone when Joshua Kelley powered his way in for a 1-yard touchdown run and a 7-0 lead.
Rookie quarterback Malik Willis was in for Tennessee's ensuing drive. The quarter ended with the Bolts holding a 7-0 lead but the Titans holding the ball in Chargers territory.
The Bolts began their second possession at the Titans 12 but went three-and-out. Tannehill was back in at quarterback for the Titans on their next drive. Tennessee quickly moved into the red zone after a 37-yard catch from Derrick Henry, who late led the Titans into the end zone on a 4-yard run. The Bolts faced fourth-and-1 on their own 34 on their ensuing possession but converted on a Herbert sneak. But the drive stalled soon after as Allen couldn't hang onto a downfield pass from Herbert. The Titans punted on their ensuing drive before the Bolts had one more chance before the half. Herbert engineered a drive through the air that got the Bolts to the Titans 30 with 28 seconds left. With the Chargers out of timeouts, Herbert tried a pass into the end zone that appeared to be going out of bounds. But a Titans defender tipped it back in bounds and the ball was intercepted. The game was tied at 7 at the half.
The Bolts began with the ball and advanced past midfield but a third-down sack ended the drive. The Bolts defense quickly got off the field by forcing a three-and-out, with Asante Samuel, Jr., forcing a third-down incompletion. The Chargers then took over at their own 18. Once again, the drive crossed midfield but a holding penalty thwarted the drive and the Bolts were eventually forced to punt. The Bolts defense then came up with a game-changing play as Nasir Adderley picked off Tannehill to give the Chargers the ball in Titans territory.
The Bolts began at the Titans 48 and moved the chains, but Herbert was picked off over the middle as the Titans took over at their own 20. The Bolts defense made sure that turnover didn't lead to points as they forced yet another Tennessee punt. The Chargers began with the ball at their own 12 but went three-and-out and punted it away again. Joe Gaziano recorded the first sack of his career on the final play of the third quarter with the score still tied at 7.
The Bolts defense continued their monster game as Chris Rumph II sacked Tannehill on third down to push back the Titans field goal try. That proved to be big as Tennessee's 51-yard field goal try was wide right as the game remained tied at 7. The Chargers offense took over at their own 41. The Bolts offense came alive as Herbert hit Allen for 31 yards — the longest play of the game — to get the Chargers into the red zone. Ekeler took over from there, ripping off a 12-yard run before powering his way into the end zone from 3 yards out to give the Bolts the lead.
The Bolts defense then stood strong once again as Kyle Van Not sacked Tannehill on third down to force a punt. But the Chargers quickly went three-and-out to give the Titans the ball back with just under three minutes to play. The Titans hit on a 28-yard pass play to get deep into Bolts territory before another pass moved them to the 4-yard line. Tannehill evened the score on a 1-yard touchdown run with 48 seconds to go. The Bolts started at their own 23 and gained 16 yards on a pass to Mike Williams before Gerald Everett picked up 6 yards and got out of bounds. Williams then made a wild sideline catch for 35 yards that put the ball at the Titans 20. A delay of game moved the Bolts back to the 25 before Herbert threw incomplete. Cameron Dicker came on for a 43-yard field goal and nailed it with four seconds left. The Bolts hung on for a 17-14 win to move to 8-6 and into a playoff spot.
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