The Cowboys started off aggressively, going for it on 4th down from San Diego's 35 yard line and getting a big gain to Roy Williams. However, the drive would stall and Dallas would settle for a field goal. The Chargers responded by attacking aggressively as well, with two big plays after a third down conversion getting them into Dallas territory. It was there we saw a rare play from Norv Turner's "fun/creative page" in his playbook:
A wildcat formation with LaDainian Tomlinson flipping back to Rivers for a deep pass to Malcom Floyd (get well soon) that was followed with two runs, the second being a touchdown by LT for the 136th of his career. After burning nearly seven minutes of clock on a field goal drive, the Cowboys would advance all the way down to the 4 yard line. 4 consecutive runs later, this epic 4th down stop courtesy of Mr. Goal line defender Brandon Siler would give the ball back to the Chargers just before halftime:
Where Rivers would turn it over on an interception to Terrence Newman. Thankfully the Cowboys would go 3 and out and attempt a field goal that Nick Folk sails wide left. The Chargers would get decent field position and get across midfield, but two incompletions and a sack would mean no long field goal attempt before halftime and a one score lead at the half.
The Bolts would open the second half with a stalled drive that ends with a punt to the Dallas 4 yard line, and with little breathing room the Cowboys would go 3 and out. The Chargers would again see their offense stall and punt away, this time downing the ball at the 1 freakin yard line. With help from 20 rushing yards on three plays, Tony Romo would lead the Cowboys on an excellent 99 yard touchdown drive that eats up seven minutes of clock to tie the game at 10.
On their next drive, as seen above, we see that Philip Rivers fittingly threw his 100th career touchdown pass to Antonio Gates early in the fourth quarter to give the team a lead that would lead them to victory. With the Cowboys unable to respond, the Chargers would go on an epic seven minute drive that, with a field goal, gave them a two score lead with inside the two minute warning. The Cowboys had no timeouts, so with a prevent defense, the Chargers let them use up all but 7 seconds of clock on their "meaningless" touchdown drive. A kneel by Rivers sealed the game and pushed the Chargers up to 10-3 and an NFL record 16 consecutive December victories.
This year, the Cowboys have a solid defense and numerous offensive weapons. Since the Chargers have both a crappy run defense and porous coverage unit, expect Dallas to move the ball at will come Sunday. Pass rushers Demarcus Ware should have a field day, as should Jason Hatcher, facing a patchwork offensive line. I don't see this game going very well for San Diego. Even if some key defenders come back, neither Derek Cox nor Shareece Wright nor three Marcus Gilchrists can cover Dez Bryant. Or Jason Witten. I would love it, however, if by the final whistle both teams are .500.