The Chargers started with the ball on offense, but an Antonio Gates drop on third down meant that the Chargers had to punt it away. The Dolphins looked unstoppable for a time with power running and quick passing, but a Brandon Flowers run stuff and a third down sack by Melvin Ingram took the Dolphins out of FG range.
The Chargers started with terrible field position and were quickly forced to punt again - the Dolphins muffed the punt, but were lucky to fall on it for their second fumble recovery in three drives (they recovered the ball after Melvin Ingram strip sacked Tannehill on their first drive). The Dolphins returned the favour, going 3 and out, although Jay Ajayi went down hurt on the first play of the drive.
The Chargers refusal to pass before 3rd down looked like costing them for the third successive drive, but a facemask AND a pass interference call against Dontrelle Inman put them in Dolphins territory for the first time in the game. On the very next play, Donald Butler (yeah, him) lost outside containment, and Melvin Gordon ripped off a 19 yard run.
After an incomplete pass to Tyrell Williams on 3rd down, Josh Lambo knocked through a 45 yard FG to give the Chargers the first points of the game, going up 3-0. You know what else has 3 in it? Three and out! That's what the Dolphins did with their next drive.
The Chargers showed them how it should be done, with first down passes to McGrath, Gordon and Inman, although Gordon's did come on a 3rd and 14. Rivers kept that going with a 17 yard pass to Tyrell Williams before hitting Gates twice, with the second meaning Gates found paydirt. 10-0 Chargers.
Jakeem Grant nearly broke off a huge kickoff return, but thankfully Dexter McCoil was able to grab him by the shoestrings and bring him down at the Dolphins 26 yard line. It ultimately didn't matter, though, as a long Dolphins drive was capped off by a deep TD to Kenny Stills, who got behind Dwight Lowery.
Out came the Chargers, looking to extend their lead before HT, with an Antonio Gates catch taking them to the Dolphins 45 yard line at the two minute warning. The drive looked promising, but a sack on 3rd down allowed by Joe Barksdale pushed the Chargers out of field goal range. Drew Kaser's punt was downed by the combination of Darrell Stuckey and Joshua Perry at the 7 yard line, and the Dolphins decided to just run the clock out to end the first half.
The second half started terribly for the Chargers, with Jay Ajayi ripping off a huge run for 40 yards on the second play from scrimmage. A catch from Jarvis Landry bought the Dolphins down to the 2 yard line, and Damien Williams punched it in. 14-10 Dolphins.
Joe Barksdale gave up another half-sack, but Tyrell Williams came through with two big catches on 3rd down to extend the drive. Melvin Gordon followed some good blocks from Kenny Wiggins and Dontrelle Inman to pick up 19 yards, before a pass interference call against Dontrelle Inman sent the Chargers down to the 1 yard line. Earl Mitchell blew up a 2nd down run for a loss of 6, but Philip Rivers moved out the pocket beautifully on 3rd down to find Hunter Henry in the corner of the endzone. 17-14 Chargers.
The Dolphins once again started a drive with a big Jay Ajayi run. The Chargers had them backed up on a 3rd down and long, and Melvin Ingram was all over Ryan Tannehill, but he let Tannehill escape and scramble for a first down, with Brandon Flowers getting injured on the play. Eventually, the Dolphins got Kyle Emanuel matched up on Damien Williams, and Williams caught the easiest 18 yard TD of his career. 21-17 Dolphins.
A great coffin corner punt by Drew Kaser forced Jakeem Grant backwards to try and return it. He coughed it up, and Darrell Stuckey recovered the ball inside the Dolphins five yard line. The Chargers couldn't even put up 3 points, as Philip Rivers threw a woeful pass to Tyrell Williams in double coverage that was intercepted.
The Dolphins went 3 and out, with Ryan Tannehill getting absolutely murdered on a failed screen on third down by about four Chargers defenders. Matt Darr hit a great punt, though, flipping the field and causing the Chargers to start at their own 12 yard line.
The Chargers drove down the field well, passing the ball downfield at will. Then Rivers threw a second pick, this time to Byron Maxwell. It might have been a horrible throw, or it might have been a miscommunication with Griff Whalen, but either way, it was Dolphins ball near midfield.
Once again, the Dolphins went 3 and out - although a lot of offensive penalties dragged it out a bit. Matt Darr hit another decent punt, but this time Isaiah Burse won the battle, returning it to the Chargers 42 yard line.
Once again, the Chargers were saved by a penalty, with Tony Lippett holding Dontrelle Inman on 3rd down. That turned out to be huge, as Philip Rivers dropped an absolute dime over the middle for Tyrell Williams, who scampered away for a 51 yard TD. Chargers took the lead, 24-21, with 4 minutes left to play.
Because the Chargers are the Chargers, the first play of the Dolphins drive was a huge deep completion to DeVante Parker, complete with a penalty on Corey Liuget for roughing the passer. That actually worked in the Chargers favour, as it meant the Dolphins had a first and goal, but back at the 10 yard line. Trevor Williams defended the fade attempt on third down, and the Dolphins kicked a FG to tie the game with 2:57 left.
The Chargers started the drive explosively, with Melvin Gordon bouncing one outside for 13, before a run for no gain took them to the two minute warning. A screen to Gordon got them just outside Lambo's FG range, but Philip Rivers made a horrible mistake, throwing a 60 yard pick six to Kiko Alonso, giving the Dolphins a 7 point lead with just a minute remaining. Rivers then threw his fourth interception of the day to seal the game. Miami win, 31-24.