San Diego Chargers 30, Miami Dolphins 14
Wow, what a game. In what could have been the Chargers last home game in San Diego, the Bolts decided to play with the energy and passion we thought they would play with the entire season. Danny Woodhead had himself a ball game, scoring all 4 TD’s on the afternoon! It’s about time the Chargers found the end zone as they had been held without a TD the last two weeks.
With the win, the San Diego Chargers (4-10) snapped a two game losing streak and handed the Miami Dolphins (5-9) their fourth loss in their last five games.
The defense was on fire all day, terrorizing a Dolphin’s O-line, that consisted of mostly backups. Tannehill was sacked three times on the day, and hit on multiple other plays.
On the Chargers first possession of the game, playing with a ton of energy, drove 84 yards on 12-plays resulting in Woodhead’s first TD. Philip Rivers found Woodhead on a wheel route and the throw was right on the money for the 20-yard strike. Josh Lambo‘s extra point hit the right upright and was no good.
Melvin Gordon was involved early and often, toting the rock 8 times for 20 yards in the first quarter. The defense continues to play well, and they did on Sunday, forcing two punts, including a 3-and-out.
On the Chargers first drive of the quarter, one of the most comical plays you’ll see happened on a 2nd and 8 from the SD 41. Rivers’ deep pass down the middle of the field was picked off Rashad Jones and as he was returning it across midfield, OG Orlando Franklin stuck his big mit in there and forced the ball out of Jones’ grasp. The ball was kicked around and somehow went right to Philip Rivers who fell on it and secured it on the ground. The play resulted in a San Diego first down on their own 38 yard-line. Classic Chargers! That drive resulted in a 28-yard Lambo field goal to put the Chargers up 9-0.
The Bolts would get the ball back and Rivers hit Dontrelle Inman for 31 yards to the 2-yard line. On the next play it was Woodhead again who took it up the middle for the team’s first rushing touchdown since week 1! Not sure why they didn’t put in Melvin Gordon to try and get him his first career TD, but Woody was the one called upon.
On a 2nd and 10, Gordon received the handoff and attempted to bounce it to the outside but was dragged down and tackled awkwardly. His right leg got trapped under the defender and he left the game to get his knee checked out and never returned. He finished the game with 15 carries for 41 yards.
Later on that drive, Rivers hit Woodhead from 9-yards out to give him his third TD of the game and extended the Chargers’ lead to 23-0.
The Bolt’s defense forced 2 more 3-and-outs and held the Dolphins offense to under 80 total yards in the half. Jerry Attaochu and Melvin Ingram seemed to be in the backfield on every play. Ingram off the edge was just unfair at times against the Dolphins tackle, who usually plays guard. Ingram finished with two sacks (8 on the season) and Attaochu had 1 sack (6.5 on the season).
The Chargers dominated the time of possession with just under 39 minutes to the Dolphins 21. They were able to sustain drives all game long, picking up twice as many first downs, a 26 to 13 advantage. They would get into field goal range towards the end of the quarter but Lambo was wide-right on a 48-yard attempt. Malcolm Floyd also made a great grab that picked up 27 on that drive, it was vintage Floyd.
A recepção mirabolante do Floyd. https://t.co/Osti4W74kJ
— Bolts Brasil (@BoltsBrasil) December 20, 2015
The Dolphins would take advantage, and 6 plays later running back Jay Ajayi scored on the ground from 12 yards out.
With the Chargers driving into Fins’ territory, a holding penalty and offensive pass interference, made it a 1st and 30 (NFL Blitz status) at the MIA 40 yard line. Rivers took a shot deep to his boy Malcolm Floyd for one last connection as Floyd is set to retire at seasons end. Floyd had corner back Brent Grimes beat but the throw was under thrown and Grimes came down the INT.
Rivers still finished the day 26/36 for 311 yards, 3 TD’s and 2 Int’s.
On the next Bolts’ drive, it was Donald Brown in for the injured Gordon. He took a first down run right up the middle for 53 yards and almost scored but was dragged down at the 5. Three plays later it was again, Danny Woodhead on the end of a 9-yard reception for his fourth TD of the game. I, like probably many of you out there, didn’t start him for my Fantasy Football playoffs matchup. But it was still great to see him have a game!
He is the first player since Ladainian Tomlinson to have a 4 TD game. LT did it in 2007 against the Raiders.
Ryan Tannehill would score on a 1-yard rush, but the game was already over. Chargers get the win infront of the home crowd 30-14.
On the Chargers final drive, Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, and Malcolm Floyd all exited to the game so they could receive one final standing ovation.
It was Eric Weddle‘s last game as a Charger as he is set to enter free-agency. The scene after the game with fans staying as long as possible to (hopefully not) say good bye one last time to the Bolts at the Q. Weddle gave this organization 9 great years and he will be greatly missed.
Malcolm Floyd will be retiring and he’s been such a presense for this Chargers team for 12 seasons, we will certainly miss him out there on Sunday’s.
— San Diego Chargers (@Chargers) December 21, 2015
Philip Rivers – 26/36 for 311 yards, 3 TD’s and 2 Int’s
Danny Woodhead – 8 carries, 10 yards, 1 TD / 6 receptions, 50 yards, 3 TD’s
Donald Brown – 12 carries, 90 yards
Antonio Gates – 6 receptions, 88 yards
Dontrelle Inman – 3 receptions, 78 yards
Danny Woodhead, obviously, he played out of his mind. The Chargers defense, for playing great the past 3 weeks and shutting down the opposing offenses. Malcolm Floyd and Eric Weddle for great careers here in San Diego and always playing with a ton of passion and fire (except Weddle for most of this year).
Going on two hours after game, Eric Weddle is STILL signing for Chargers fans at Qualcomm pic.twitter.com/03GMRMZKU6
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) December 21, 2015
San Diego Chargers (4-10) @ Oakland Raiders (6-8) Saturday December 24th
The Chargers will travel up north to take on the dreaded Oakland Raiders for a special Christmas Eve addition of Saturday Night Football. Merry Christmas to us that we’re not Raiders fans, am I right!?
After a decent start the season, the Raiders have fallen back to hell, oops I mean earth and are on the outside looking in on the playoffs (like I can talk about playoffs). The young duo of Derek Carr and Amari Cooper has the Raiders offense trending up, and they also dismantled the Chargers in San Diego on their first meeting 37-29. Looking forward to the rematch and that we bring the pain this time.
Nick was born and raised in San Diego where he became a Chargers and Padres fan, attending numerous home games throughout the years with his dad. He then went on to attend college at the University of Arizona. There he earned his degree in marketing and now lives in San Francisco where he dreams of the the sunny beaches of San Diego. Bear Down.