The San Diego Chargers are at the very bottom of the AFC Playoff hunt. The loss to Miami in week 10, along with the Dolphins continued success, doesn’t help matters.
Miami sits at 7-4 and is the sixth seed currently in the AFC. The Kansas City Chiefs (8-3) did the Chargers (5-6) a small favor by defeating Denver (7-4) Sunday night. It was possibly the best game of the 2016 season, as the Chiefs came from behind to beat the Broncos in a 30-27 thriller that nearly took the entire overtime period.
Chargers @ Texans:
Houston struck oil first with Brock Osweiler reaching up and over the defense for a 2nd quarter TD. 11:15 on the game clock.
San Diego cashed in with 6:44 left in the first half of action. A 52-yard bomb from Philip Rivers to Dontrelle Inman. Brock Osweiler, feeling the pressure literally and figuratively, was in the midst of a duel with the other number 17. Two minutes later, Osweiler, under immense pressure from Joey Bosa & Melvin Ingram, attempted a throw to the sidelines only to find Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward. The pass was intended for Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and Hayward earned himself another pick.
San Diego quickly moved down field with a follow-up score from Rivers to Tyrell Williams with 1:54 remaining in the half. Houston got yet another opportunity, but Joey Bosa and Damion Square sacked Osweiler. The Chargers got themselves in position for a late 54-yard field goal to close out the half. The kick sailed wide left, San Diego leading 14-7 at the half.
Late third quarter, Dwight Lowery delivered a hit on Lamar Miller, causing a fumble that was recovered by cornerback Trevor Williams. San Diego couldn’t capitalize as Rivers threw a dart to Tyrell Williams, off of his fingertips, and into the awaiting hands of Quintin Demps. Houston went on a long, sustained drive, but no more points were scored in the third quarter by either team.
At the top of the fourth quarter, former Chargers kicker Nick Novak, closed in on the San Diego lead. The score now 14-10 Chargers.
With 10:30 remaining, Rivers got himself out of danger and hit Dontrelle Inman on another huge play downfield. Rivers then found rookie tight end Hunter Henry for a touchdown. The score now 21-10, San Diego Super Chargers. Almost like déjà vu, Brock Osweiler attempted to keep pace with the Chargers, only to throw another interception. This time into the awaiting hands of safety Dwight Lowery.
San Diego failed to score after the turnover by the aforementioned Lowery. The Texans wouldn’t score until late in the fourth quarter, on the leg of Nick Novak, with 14 seconds left. The score was now 21-13 Chargers. Heck of a strategy by head coach Bill O’Brien to go for the field goal knowing that his team still needed to regain possession. In true San Diego Chargers fashion, there must be some suspense. Nick Novak set up for an onside kick and Houston recovered. Brock Osweiler made two pass attempts to the end zone, the second was picked off by safety Dexter McCoil in the endzone. “Game Over”…..and still alive in the playoff race…
Key Contributors On Defense:
Joey Bosa- Seven tackles, two tackles for loss, and 1/2 sack for this young man on the day. He was all over the place.
Dwight Lowery- A forced fumble, an interception, and a solid game from this safety. Just when the team needed it.
Casey Hayward- He earned his league leading sixth interception on a fantastic grab. The man is legit.
Key Contributors On Offense:
Philip Rivers- 22-30, 242 yards three TD, one interception. Way to come back from last week’s poor outing.
Dontrelle Inman- He ran great routes all day and recorded six receptions for 119 yds and one TD.
Tyrell Williams- He may have injured his shoulder late in the game, but he did have eight receptions for 70 yds and one TD on the day