The Los Angeles Chargers weren't seeking style points on Sunday.
In a game that included a combined 14 punts and 21 penalties, running back Melvin Gordon rose above the ugliness with 163 total yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns in a 27-22 victory over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium — the Bolts' first win of the season.
The game's turning point occurred with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter when defensive end Melvin Ingram sacked Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who fumbled. Ingram recovered the football at the Giants' 11-yard line and three plays later, quarterback Philip Rivers found Gordon for a ten-yard touchdown reception, which ended up being the game-winning score.
It was a game plagued with penalties, unforced errors and missed connections. On a third-and-seven in the first quarter, miscommunication lead to a botched snap by center Spencer Pulley that Rivers batted out of the end zone for a safety to make it 2-0 Giants. Chargers opponents have now scored first in every game this season.
Later in the first quarter, Orleans Darkwa dashed 23 yards for a touchdown — the first rushing score from a Giants running back this season. New York led 9-0 after the opening quarter.
The Chargers answered with a six-yard touchdown reception from Rivers to running back Gordon that cut the lead to 9-7 after the newly acquired Nick Novak connected on the extra point. Novak added a 20-yard field goal to give Los Angeles the lead at halftime.
Los Angeles forced a three-and-out to open the second half, and the offense immediately drove down to the Giants' 14-yard line in four plays. After a false start penalty, Rivers was then intercepted in the end zone by safety Darian Thompson.
With Giants wide receivers Sterling Shepard and Brandon Marshall out of the game with injuries, Eli Manning found Roger Lewis on New York's next possession for a 29-yard touchdown catch to regain the lead.
Rivers responded on the next Chargers' possession by connecting with tight end Hunter Henry for a 25-yard touchdown. Los Angeles took a 17-16 lead into the fourth quarter after the 12-play, 90-yard drive.
The back-and-forth continued as Manning hooked up with Odell Beckham Jr. for a 48-yard touchdown strike on the third play of the fourth quarter. The failed two-point conversion put New York up 22-17 before the Chargers scored the last ten points of the game.
Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa registered two sacks, both in the first quarter. Bosa now has 4.5 sacks on the season. Ingram also notched two sacks. Tre Boston intercepted Manning late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
Rivers finished 21-of-44 for 258 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
The Chargers play their second consecutive road game next Sunday, Oct. 15th against the Oakland Raiders. Kickoff is at 1:25 p.m. Pacific Time on CBS.
Take a look through game action photos as the Bolts battle the New York Giants on the road for Week 5.