I can’t say I’m surprised, but I can’t say I’m not heartbroken either. It’s supposed to be a different culture, a different direction. The Chargers were so close; about 6 inches in fact from starting their second half push for the playoffs, and it was dashed just like that.
The San Diego Chargers lost in OT to the Washington Redskins Sunday, in disappointing fashion, after Phillip Rivers led the team back from a 10-point deficit with 7 minutes in the fourth quarter. Rivers connected on a 16-yard pass to Keenan Allen to make it a 24-21 game.
Then it happened.
The Chargers went on a 14-play 92-yard drive and capped off the drive with Rivers 6-yard pass to Danny
Woodhead for the game winning TD. This was the case for about a minute until video replay showed that the ball never crossed the pylon. No big deal, 1st and goal at the Washington 1-yard line and 26 seconds left.
The Chargers run Danny Woodhead up the middle for no gain. On second down, with Ryan Mathews on the field, Rivers seemed to audible to a matchup he thought favorable with Gates on the outside but threw a terrible fade pass for an incompletion. Ok, third down let’s punch it in, right up the gut. Rivers rollout, incompletion to Keenan Allen.
The Chargers settle for the game tying field goal and head to OT. The Redskins receive the kick and drive 63 yards effortlessly and punch it in to win.
Heartbreak Hotel: Population San Diego.
I’m not sure why they didn’t run the ball three or maybe even four times to punch it in but I’ll save that for another article.
Phillip Rivers had a good game, but not great for the season he is having, finishing with 341 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Keenan Allen continues to make his case for Offensive Rookie of the Year with another great performance as he had 8 receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown. The run game disappeared as Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead both had only 7 carries and the Bolts finished with 69 yards as a team.
The keys for the Chargers to winning the game that I had stated in the preview were stopping the Washington ground game and the offensive line play. One of those things did happen but it wasn’t stopping the running attack. The Redskins finished with 209 rushing yards, led by Alfred Morris who finished with 121 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. The Chargers did however do a good job stopping QB Robert Griffin III on the ground; he had 6 rushes for only 17 yards. The problem came in the form of Washington Fullback Darrel Young, who had 5 carries for 12 yards and 3 touchdowns! He could not be stopped at the goal line and he punched in the game winning TD in overtime.
The Chargers’ offensive line again played well, especially protecting Phillip Rivers as they only surrendered on sack. This was amplified by the fact that the Chargers early on in the game seemed to abandon the run and put the game in the hand of Rivers who threw the ball 46 times.
Although this loss really hurt the Chargers’ chances of making the playoffs, and puts a bad taste in all the players’ and fans’ mouths, there were some positives to take from the game, and it’s always good to end on a positive note, right?
Block party: The Chargers hadn’t blocked a field goal attempt since 2002, and they blocked two Kai Forbath kicks in the first half. It didn’t stop there either, the defensive line had 5 batted balls, one of them led to an interception in the end zone for a Charger touchdown.
Keenan Allen: This guy can play. He continues to contribute in the passing game and looks like a legit long-term star for the Chargers. The Cal Bear product has 34 receptions for 527 yards and 3 touchdowns in 7 games played this year. Look for him to continue to establish his dominance on opposing secondaries and be Rivers’ go-to guy.
I can only hope the Chargers have success with the remaining 5 divisional games and can maybe, just maybe, salvage a playoff spot.
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