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Running Recap: Chargers Fall to Vikings 23-10

The San Diego Chargers fell 23-10 to the Minnesota Vikings in the third preseason game.  Minnesota took a 6-0 lead after getting deep into Chargers territory twice.  However, despite giving up big plays and a turnover by the San Diego offense, the Bolts' red zone defense held strong and limited the damage to just two field goals.  It took three series, but the Bolts offense finally found their groove assembling a six-play drive that ended with a 39-yard touchdown by Melvin Gordon.  A Vikings turnover turned into points for the Chargers as safety Dexter McCoil dislodged a ball from Kyle Rudolph's arms and Jason Verrett recovered.  Josh Lambo booted a field goal on the ensuing possession to give his team a 10-6 lead.  The Vikings fought back for a lead going into the half as Teddy Bridgewater assembled a six-play drive capped off by a 27-yard TD by Rudolph. Damion Square, Darius Philon and Corey Liuget all recorded sacks for the Bolts. 

While the Chargers opened the second half with possession, Kellen Clemens fumbled and the Vikings recovered the ball on the third play of the drive.  Minnesota took no time capitalizing on the fumble to make it 20-10 less than two minutes into the second half.  While the Vikings assembled a nice drive late in the third quarter, it came to an abrupt end as Chuka Ndulue got to Minnesota QB Joel Stave as he fumbled the ball on the San Diego nine.  Matt Weiser recovered the fumble to give possession back to the Chargers heading into the fourth quarter.  After a turnover by San Diego, the Vikings tacked another three points to their lead.  Prior to the two-minute warning, Mike Bercovici was intercepted by Mackensie Alexander and after the Vikings ran the clock out, the Bolts fell to 1-2 on the preseason.

IMPACT PLAYS 

First Quarter

14:23 – On the second play of the game, Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon found an open hole and rushed 35 yards to move deep into San Diego territory.

11:07 – The Vikings were first on the board as Blair Walsh kicked a 23-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.

9:04 – Philip Rivers dropped back looking for Keenan Allen.  The wide receiver attempted to corral the ball but the pass was broken up and fell into the hands of Vikings safety Harrison Smith for an interception.

5:45 – Kyle Emanuel read Teddy Bridgewater's eyes and batted down the QB's pass.  Two plays later on third down, Corey Liuget got to the QB and sacked him for a loss of nine. 

4:22 – Walsh kicked another short field goal to give his team a 6-0 advantage.

3:22 – On third down, Rivers connected with Travis Benjamin, who was able to separate from the defender, for a gain of 15.

Second Quarter

13:44 – Bridgewater got tripped up and fell backwards where he was tagged by Damion Square for a sack good for a loss of six.

11:18 – Rivers found Benjamin on third down again for a gain of 17 when the team only needed five to move the chains.

9:11 – Melvin Gordon took a handoff from Rivers and rushed up the middle in open space for a 39-yard touchdown and 7-6 lead for the Chargers.

6:51 – Bridgewater connected with Kyle Rudolph.  As the tight end was moving upfield, Dexter McCoil came in to strip the ball before Rudolph hit the ground.  Jason Verrett recovered the fumble to give possession to his team. 

4:28 – On third down, Clemens found Danny Woodhead for a short pass.  The running back then scampered for a 25-yard gain.

2:31 – Josh Lambo kicked the Bolts' first field goal of the game.  His 32-yarder tacked on three to his team's lead.

1:24 – After connecting with receivers for a combined gain of 46 yards in two plays, Bridgewater lobbed a deep pass to Rudolph who took it into the end zone.  Their two-point conversion attempt failed making it 12-10 Minnesota.

Third Quarter

14:03 – Justin Trattou stripped Clemens and the ball was recovered by the Vikings deep in San Diego territory.

13:23 – Shaun Hill lobbed a short pass to Mycole Pruitt.  However, Pruitt fumbled the ball but Cordarrelle Patterson scooped up the fumble in the end zone for the touchdown.  A successful two-point conversion made it 20-10, Vikings.

8:37 – Ben Gardner came around the right side to sack Vikings QB Joel Stave for a loss of 10 who then fumbled.  The ball was recovered by the Vikings but because it was third down, the home team punted.

1:00 – On 3rd-and-1, Chuka Ndulue got to Stave who fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Matt Weiser.

Fourth Quarter

14:19 – Mike Bercovici found James Jones who took a hard hit but held onto the ball for a 16-yard reception to give the Bolts a new set of downs.

11:21 – Bercovici was picked off by Jayron Kearse who ran the ball back 38-yards to the San Diego 38.

6:31 – Richard Crawford batted down a pass at the goal line to prevent a touchdown on third down.

2:48 – DeAndre Reaves appeared to have muffed a punt that was recovered by the Vikings; however, Reaves simultaneously stepped out of bounds therefore ruling the reception out of bounds and possession remained with the Chargers.

2:42 – Bercovici hit Rasheed Bailey who then crossed from right up the middle for a 22-yard gain.

2:24 – Vikings CB Mackensie Alexander picked Bercovici off in the end zone.

:30 – Stave took a knee to end in victory formation for the Vikings.

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