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Running Recap: Chargers Drop Match to Dolphins, 31-24

The San Diego Chargers will take a 4-6 record into the bye after falling to the Miami Dolphins, 31-24.  The first quarter was scoreless as it was dominated by the defenses of both teams.  In the first quarter, Melvin Ingram notched a sack good for a loss of nine and Corey Liuget and Brandon Flowers both had tackles for loss.  Josh Lambo kicked the Bolts to a 3-0 lead early in the second after a good 45-yard field goal.  The Bolts increased their lead 10-0 after a touchdown reception from Antonio Gates capped off a nine-play, 80-yard drive.  The Dolphins got on the board with just under three minutes left in the first half after Ryan Tannehill and Kenny Stills connected for a 39-yard touchdown. 

Starting with the ball in the second half, the Dolphins refused to get away from the run and it paid off.  Three plays after Jay Ajayi broke off a run for 40 yards, Damien Williams rushed up the middle for the touchdown and Miami's first lead of the day.  On the next drive, the Chargers made it 17-14 after Hunter Henry caught a seven-yard touchdown pass in the end zone.  The touchdown was Rivers' 300th of his career.  The Dolphins regained the lead after Damien Williams notched a receiving touchdown, his second TD of the day.

There was a wild series in the fourth quarter where the Chargers recovered a muffed Miami punt at the Dolphins' five, however the Chargers couldn't cash in turning the ball over via an interception in the end zone. Even though the Chargers forced the Dolphins to a quick three-and-out and got the ball back, they ended up turning the ball over again, as Rivers threw a pick into the arms of Byron Maxwell. 

With just over four minutes left in the game, Tyrell Williams put the Bolts back on top after a 51-yard touchdown reception made it 24-21, San Diego.  The Dolphins tied it up with a 27-yard field goal to make it 24-24.  However, just as the Chargers were attempting to surmount a comeback, Kiko Alonso picked off Rivers and ran the ball back into the end zone for a 60-yard touchdown and 31-24 lead.  With a minute left, the Chargers got the ball back only to end the game with Rivers' fourth interception of the day into the arms of Tony Lippett.

IMPACT PLAYS

FIRST QUARTER

9:48 – Ryan Tannehill tossed a pass to DeVante Parker, who took the ball upfield for a gain of 14.

7:07 – On second down, Jay Ajayi was tackled for a loss of four in the backfield by Brandon Flowers.

6:26 – Melvin Ingram sacked Tannehill for a loss of nine to bring up a Miami punt.

1:28 – Melvin Gordon burst through the line for a gain of 19.

SECOND QUARTER

14:55 – Josh Lambo kicked a 45-yard field goal to make it 3-0, San Diego.

11:03 – Rolling right, Rivers directed Melvin Gordon into position to complete a 15-yard pass to move the chains.  The offense earned 28 yards on the next two plays with receptions from Dontrelle Inman (12 yards) and Tyrell Williams (16 yards).

7:42 – Rivers found Antonio Gates in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown.

6:24 – Ajayi was tackled in the backfield by Korey Toomer for a loss of three.

2:59 – Tannehill dropped back and lobbed a deep ball into the end zone for Kenny Stills, who made the 39-yard touchdown reception.

2:06 – Gates took a pass upfield for a gain of 19.  On the next play, he moved the chains again, this time good for 14 yards.

1:01 – On 3rd-and-7, Rivers was sacked for a loss of eight.

THIRD QUARTER

14:29 – Ajayi broke off a run good for 40 yards to move into San Diego territory.

12:33 – After Jarvis Landry took a Tannehill pass down the right sideline for a gain of 25, Damien Williams ran the ball into the end zone to make it 14-10, Miami.

11:50 – Rivers was sacked for a loss of three to bring up third down.

9:22 – Three plays after Williams gained 12 on third down, he gained 21 to move the chains into Miami territory.

5:42 – Hunter Henry caught a seven-yard touchdown pass in the right rear corner of the end zone to make it 17-14, Chargers.

3:35 – Facing a 3rd-and-11, Tannehill scampered and decided to take the ball and run.  His decision paid off as he gained 18 on the play.

1:49 – On 3rd-and-2, Tannehill dropped back and hit Williams in the end zone for his second touchdown of the day.

FOURTH QUARTER

13:51 – Darrell Stuckey scooped up a Miami muffed punt to set his offense up at the Dolphins' five.

12:42 – On 2nd-and-goal, Rivers dropped back, but his pass was picked off in the end zone by Tony Lippet for a touchback.

11:46 – Corey Liuget bust through the line to pressure Ryan Tannehill to toss an incomplete pass and bring up a Dolphins punt.

10:56 – After Rivers was sacked on first down for a loss of six, Tyrell Williams moved the chains with a 25-yard gain.

8:38 – Needing six on third down, Inman gained 13 to keep the drive going.

7:09 – After Inman gained 14 on the previous play, Rivers tossed his second interception of the day, and Byron Maxwell ran the pick back 27 yards.

4:13 – Williams put the Chargers back on top after a 51-yard touchdown reception.

4:04 – Facing tremendous pressure, Tannehill tossed a deep pass that was caught by Parker to move deep into San Diego territory.

3:01 – The Dolphins tied it up with a 27-yard field goal.

2:00 – Gordon gained 20 on a reception from Rivers.    

1:13 – Rivers threw his third pick of the quarter, this time, into the hands of Kiko Alonoso, who then ran the ball back into the end zone for a 60-yard touchdown.

1:01 – Rivers' pass intended for Williams was picked off by Lippett.

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