The San Diego Chargers beat the Tennessee Titans 43-35 on Sunday. The Bolts defense played a huge role accounting for two touchdowns in the victory.
Offense: Melvin Gordon. With 196 yards on the ground and 65 through the air, number 28 was unstoppable on Sunday. With LaDainian Tomlinson in attendance, Gordon became the first Chargers' back to rush for at least 100 yards in the first half since LT did it himself in 2007. Gordon put the team on his back in crucial situations and steamrolled the Titans defense. He currently leads all NFL running backs with 11 total touchdowns.
Defense: Brandon Flowers. After returning to game action last week, Flowers' performance on the field makes it look like he hasn't missed any time. In Sunday's game number 24 had five total tackles, two tackles for loss, three passes defensed and an interception which he returned 33 yards for a touchdown which put his team up by 15.
Unsung Hero: Korey Toomer. With an injured linebacking corps, Toomer knew he had to step up against the Titans – and he did just that. Toomer quietly led the Bolts defense in total tackles, but his biggest play came on forcing a fumble on Marcus Mariota that Dwight Lowery picked up and ran back for a touchdown.
Stat of the Game:
Melvin Gordon became the first Chargers running back to run for over 100 yards in the first half since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2007.
Play of the Game:
While the Titans got the ball back after the Chargers kicked a field goal in the fourth quarter, they didn't hold onto it for too long. Facing a crucial 3rd-and-6 from their own 29, Marcus Mariota lobbed a pass in the direction of Kendall Wright. However, Brandon Flowers cut in front of the receiver to pick off the ball and run it back 33 yards for the touchdown.
Driving into San Diego territory, on second down, Marcus Mariota kept the ball and rushed off the right end. However, Korey Toomer came in to force the fumble on the quarterback. Although Toomer couldn't hold onto the recovery, the ball rolled upfield and Dwight Lowery picked it up and ran it back 36 yards into the end zone for the Bolts' first defensive touchdown of the day.
It Was Over When:
The Bolts got the ball back after the Titans brought the score within eight. With only two minutes left in the game, the offense needed one-yard to convert a key third down to essentially end the game. Gordon gained two on the carry and Rivers took a series of knees to run the clock out with the victory.
"Big team win. Great effort by everybody in all three phases making enough plays throughout the game.… The team really rallied together and it was that next man up mentality. We weren't going to skip a beat (and we're) ready to keep on rolling, so all the credit to them and the coaches" – Head Coach Mike McCoy
"We're just working hard and our whole goal from training camp to now has been to finish. That's our mindset. When we're out there, everybody's goal is to finish, finish, finish." – RB Melvin Gordon
"As a defense, that's our mindset. We want to change the game every chance we possibly get. Anytime we can get the ball and give it back to our offense or get seven, it's big time. It feels great." – DE Joey Bosa
"Once you can have the team contribute, that's a good thing…. Playing in the secondary, we have to make plays when our numbers are called (and today) we made plays." – CB Casey Hayward
Odds and Ends
The Chargers outgained the Titans in total yardage 476-393. They held a 208 to 80 advantage on the ground but the Titans had the edge through the air 313-275.
Philip Rivers finished the game throwing 24 of 33 for 275 yards, two touchdowns and a 117.6 QB rating.
Melvin Gordon had a career-high 196 rush yards and one touchdown. In addition, he had 65 yards receiving.
Tyrell Williams and Dontrelle Inman tied for the most receptions (six) however Antonio Gates led the group with 75 receiving yards.
With his pick today, Casey Hayward is tied for the league lead in interceptions (five)
Tenny Palepoi served as an honorary captain.
Inactives for the Chargers included CB Craig Mager, S Jahleel Addae, ILB Denzel Perryman, ILB Jatavis Brown, C Max Tuerk, TE Hunter Henry and OLB Jerry Attaochu.