Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Chargers blow 28-7 lead to Texans in a stunning Monday night loss

QUALCOMM STADIUM (09/09/2013) The San Diego Chargers (0-1) led it's 2013 season opener 28-7 with 11 minutes left to play in the third quarter, but 24 unanswered points gave the Houston Texans (1-0) a 31-28 win in front of a nationally televised audience on ESPN's Monday Night Football.

Phillip Rivers threw for 195 yards and four touchdowns, but his lone interception of the game was returned 18 yards to the end zone by Texans linebacker Brian Cushing. That tied the game 28-28 with 9:30 left to play.

The Texans regained possession after a Chargers three and out on the next drive. Texans quarterback Matt Schaub led his offense down the field to set up kicker Randy Bullock's 41-yard game-winning field goal as the clock expired.

“This is a tough one obviously,” first-year head coach Mike McCoy said. “When you play a good team like the Houston Texans and you have an opportunity where you’re up 28-7, you’ve got to put the game away.  You can’t give them any plays.”

The Chargers got off to a hot start on their first possessions on both offense and defense.

During the opening play of the game, linebacker Jarrett Johnson's batted pass fell into the hands of defensive tackle Cam Thomas. That led to a 14-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to running back Ryan Matthews on the Chargers' first offensive play of the season.

Houston answered back towards the end of the first quarter.

The Texans drove 71 yards down the field in 10 plays and finished with a one-yard touchdown pass from Schaub to tight end Owen Daniels to tie the game 7-7.

On the next possession, Rivers got his second touchdown of the game after finding wide receiver Eddie Royal on a six-yard crossing route to put the Chargers up 14-7 with 12:24 left in the half.

Schaub thought he had a 67-yard touchdown pass to his main target Andre Johnson. Johnson appeared to be untouched before running to the end zone after the catch, but the replay showed him down by contact and the play became a 27-yard gain.

The Texans failed to capitalize after Bullock missed a 51-yard field goal attempt.

The Chargers took advantage of the missed opportunity with Rivers completing a 51-yard drive with a nine-yard touchdown pass to former San Diego State standout Vincent Brown.

The Chargers went into halftime with a 21-7 lead.

The Chargers opened the second half the same way they opened the first, with a touchdown drive. Rivers found Royal once again for a 1-yard touchdown pass to put the Chargers up 28-7 with 10:42 left in the third quarter.

That would be their last score of the game as the Texans would go on a 24-0 run and earn both their biggest comeback and first win over the Chargers in team history.

Texans running back and former Mission Bay High standout Arian Foster was the game’s leading rusher with 57 yards on 18 carries.

Next week the Chargers travel to Philadelphia to take on rookie head coach Chip Kelly and his high powered Eagles. The Eagles faced the Washington Redskins in the first game of ESPN's Monday Night Football doubleheader and held on to a 33-27 win.

1st Quarter
San Diego: 14-yard TD pass from P. Rivers to R. Mathews (N. Novak XP Good) 0-7 14:45
Houston: 1-Yard TD pass from M. Schaub to O. Daniels (R. Bullock XP Good) 7-7 03:11
2nd Quarter
San Diego: 6-yard TD pass from P. Rivers to E. Royal (N. Novak XP Good) 7-14 12:24
San Diego: 10-yard TD pass from P. Rivers to V. Brown (N. Novak XP Good) 7-21 00:18
3rd Quarter
San Diego: 1-yard TD pass from P. Rivers to E. Royal (N. Novak XP Good) 7-28 10:42
Houston: 7-yard TD pass from M. Schaub to G. Graham (R. Bullock XP Good) 14-28 04:57
4th Quarter
Houston: 9-yard TD pass from M. Schaub to O. Daniels (R. Bullock XP Good) 21-28 14:44
Houston: 18-yard INT Return by B. Cushing (R. Bullock XP Good) 28-28 09:30
Houston: 41-yard FG by R. Bullock 31-28 00:00

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