The 4-4 Tennessee Titans came into San Diego, with their vaunted rush attack ready to run wild, and second year quarterback Marcus Mariota prepared to efficiently control the offense. That did not happen as the Chargers’ defense was too much to handle for the young Titans team. The Bolts prevailed 43-35 and moved to 4-5 on the season.
On this particular Sunday it was mainly about one Melvin Gordon. He ran like a man possessed and was impossible to bring down on the first hit. The man has taken his game to a whole new level and we are witnessing it firsthand.
Discussion of a Comeback Player of the Year may start now, by my estimation. He is well deserving of the honor.
In typical Chargers’ fashion (of late), San Diego scored quickly to begin the game. A touchdown from Philip Rivers to Antonio Gates set the tone early on. With the loss of Hunter Henry for the game, Gates was leaned on heavily. Josh Lambo missed the extra point, leaving many fans a tad concerned. In the quarter, there was also another short yardage situation where San Diego declined going for it. The crowd was displeased. It was quickly forgotten with a Lambo 32-yard field goal. 9-0 Chargers, end of the first quarter.
Melvin Gordon seemingly put the Chargers in scoring position often and he set the tone all day. After another beautiful run, Rivers found Tyrell Williams for a 6-yard touchdown. 16-0 Chargers, early second quarter. Tennessee finally threw a fighter’s punch with a score of their own. Mariota found Rishard Matthews in the end zone and cut the score to 7-16 Chargers. Josh Lambo added another field goal for San Diego, making the score 19-7 Bolts. The Titans drove down the field making the contest 14-19 as Matthews scored once again for the Titans, this time in the closing seconds of the half on a 7-yard pass.
Marcus Mariota made an incredible 14-yard TD scramble to give Tennessee its first lead of the game to start the half. No worries, the Chargers marched into scoring position once again, as Melvin Gordon scored on a 1-yard TD run with the help of some suspect penalties against the Titans in the drive. Some third down calls helped the Chargers in the drive and the Titans were none too happy about it.
Oh yeah, turnovers. The San Diego Chargers’ defense had a couple on Sunday. Roughly three minutes later in the third quarter, Mariota scrambled, and was hit by Melvin Ingram, forcing a fumble. It was scooped up and returned for a touchdown by hardworking safety Dwight Lowery. 33-21 San Diego, and apparently the team was in control.
Marcus Mariota and the Titans went down and scored early in the quarter. A beautiful touchdown between defenders to tight end Delanie Walker made it 33-28. Many fans wanted a touchdown, but you take the points if you can get them. To Mariota’s credit, he kept fighting, but to no avail. Just over a minute after the Chargers field goal, San Diego had another takeaway score, making it 36-28 on yet another Josh Lambo field goal.
Mariota stared down his receiver, and veteran cornerback Brandon Flowers made a game changing pick-six. San Diego was now up 43-28, and again apparently comfortably ahead. With about 2:46 left in the game, the pesky Titans scored on the legs of DeMarco Murray. Score 35-43 roughly two and a half minutes left in regulation. A feeling of concern was in the air.
“Then All Of A Sudden” on third and seven, second-year Chargers running back Melvin Gordon delivered the dagger! Gordon ripped off a 47-yard run from Chargers’ territory to the Titans 25 yard line. On this Sunday, Melvin Gordon willed the Chargers to victory. He finished with 32 carries, 196 yards, and a touchdown. Bell Cow status, and more to come. “All Of A Sudden” a star emerges. Has balance been restored to the offense?! I think so gang, I think so.
San Diego Offense:
Zero turnovers- The team held on to the ball in crunch time and Rivers was never pressured enough to make an errant pass.
Only one sack allowed- The offensive line held its ground and contained Brian Orakpo and the edge rushers for the Titans.
476 yards total offense- The team was able to pile up yards on the ground as Melvin Gordon ran wild against a Titans defense that was supposedly equipped to stop the run.
San Diego Defense:
Brandon Flowers pick & score- This 33-yard interception and score late in the fourth quarter sealed the game for the Chargers.
Casey Hayward 5th interception of the year- The man continues to impress as he recorded his fifth pick of the year on Sunday.