Coming into the 4th quarter, unfortunately the visiting team was up on the board 36-35 after a daring two-point conversion which put them on top.
After a terrible kickoff which saw the Chargers regain the field on the 37 yard line, Philip Rivers brought the Chargers to the 50 on a 13 yard pass to Tyrell Williams. A 5 yard rush by Melvin Gordon brought them to the 45. Gordon takes the handoff from the side of Rivers, finds the hole between Okung and Feeney, jukes out of a tackle by Denzel Perryman, and runs home free... That is, until he showboated into the end zone and fumbled the ball in a play that will go down in history as rivaling the infamous “butt fumble.”
Seriously, take a second look at that.
The visitors get the ball back on the 20 yard line after a touchback, up 36-35, and look to drain the clock, running it one of the few times in the game for a 1 yard loss. 39 seconds later, Rivers threw an incomplete pass towards the sticks, intended for Hunter Henry. A crucial 3rd and 11 sees Tyrell Williams drop a pass by Philip Rivers, forcing the 3 and out and the punt. The visitors needed Drew Kaser to show up big now, but Kaser goes for height, only kicking the ball 30 yards down field for the fair catch by Travis Benjamin.
The team led by none other than myself had 3:40 left on the clock, down a point. This drive needed to burn almost all of the time off the clock and score at least a FG. A 9 yard rush by Melvin Gordon was the perfect start to the drive. I threw in a play action pass to Keenan Allen to get the defense off the ball, completing it for 12 yards. 3 straight runs out of the shotgun grab 21 yards for the offense. On 3rd and 3 at the 8 yard line, Rivers found Keenan Allen at the goal line, where he steps in for the TD. 1:27 left on the clock.
In order to go up by 7 (to preserve a chance of overtime if the other team scores), Rivers finds Tyrell Williams open on the flat, converting the 2 point conversion.
After a booming kickoff (aimed high to prevent a return), Desmond King calls a fair catch on his 12 yard line, giving the visitors 1:27 to drive 88 yards to pay dirt. 2 incomplete passes to Keenan Allen brought the game to the most important third down yet, and Philip Rivers found Keenan Allen open in a soft spot in the zone down the middle of the field for 36 yards. With a first down on their 48 yard line and a minute left on the clock, it was crunch time.
Two broken up passes by Desmond King and Tre Boston brought the two teams to another crucial third down, where Philip Rivers AGAIN went to his trusty wideout Keenan Allen, converting for 15 yards.
With 27 seconds on the clock, Rivers dialed up the same exact play, but Tre Boston had it covered, forcing a pop up ball out of Keenan Allen’s hands. Jahleel Addae showed great instincts (and earned his paycheck) by catching the pop-up ball, and kneeling in the end zone for a touchback.
3 subsequent kneels by Philip Rivers (including two timeouts and a “friendly” quit request by the visiting team) ended the game.
Final Score: 43-36, with the home team emerging victorious.
Melvin Gordon: 11 carries, 126 yards, 1 fum.
Keenan Allen: 8 receptions, 83 yards, 2 TDs
The opposing offensive line could not keep Rivers clean, culminating in 5 sacks by the Chargers, including 1.5 by Joey Bosa. On the other side, the visiting team only managed to sack Rivers once.
MVP: Jahleel Addae with two clutch Interceptions
I hope you guys enjoyed this mini-series!