for this game

Rivers rebounds late as Chargers rally past slumping Seahawks

Dec 25, 2006 - 3:45 AM SEATTLE (Ticker) -- After looking lost for most of the afternoon, Philip Rivers looked like a Pro Bowl quarterback when it mattered most.

Rivers heaved a 37-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson in the final minute to lead the San Diego Chargers to a 20-17 triumph over the reeling Seattle Seahawks in an interconference contest.

It was the ninth consecutive victory for San Diego (13-2), which already clinched a first-round postseason bye earlier Sunday when Indianapolis (11-4) suffered a 27-24 upset at the hands of Houston.

The Chargers can wrap up homefield advantage in the AFC with a win over Arizona next week or a loss by the Baltimore Ravens (12-3), who host Buffalo next week.

"That's a major objective for us, because there is no doubt that is the best way to go to the championship," said Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer, who has never guided a team to a Super Bowl. "We still have some work to do to get that accomplished."

Coming off a subpar effort against Kansas City last week, Rivers was shaky for the second consecutive week. He constantly underthrew open receivers and appeared to struggle handling the wet, rainy conditions at Qwest Field.

But Rivers, who was named to the Pro Bowl earlier this week, came up big in the fourth quarter. San Diego trailed, 17-13, with two minutes remaining when Rivers shook off his inaccuracy and engineered a five-play, 59-yard scoring drive capped by his phenomenal TD pass to Jackson.

"I remember seeing Philip Rivers at N.C. State with that same fire at the end of the game even though things weren't happening for him early in the game," Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman said. "I seen that must-win attitude come out and he got it done for us."

The Chargers faced a 2nd-and-1 at the Seattle 40 when Rivers dove up the middle for three yards and a first down. He gave San Diego a 20-17 lead two plays later when he hooked up with Jackson, who ran a post pattern and surprisingly got behind the Seahawks' secondary with 36 seconds left.

"Did we think that Vince was going to pop open like that? No, but we knew that we had a chance," Rivers said.

"He was good when he had to be good," Schottenheimer said of Rivers. "He made the plays he had to make. Quarterbacks are judged on one thing, finding a way to win and he's done that."

Rivers went 10-of-30 for 181 yards and two TDs without an interception. The 6-5 Jackson, who dropped a possible go-ahead TD earlier in the fourth quarter, also hauled in a nine-yard score in the second quarter and finished with 97 yards on five catches.

Lost in the late-game heroics was the quiet performance from LaDainian Tomlinson, who ran for 123 yards on 22 carries but was held without a touchdown for the first time since Week Seven at Kansas City. Aside from a long 62-yard run in the first half, the electric Tomlinson was primarily held in check.

"At times you are going to struggle," Tomlinson said. "We ran the ball well, so he (Rivers) was able to get some stuff going. And when he did, he won the game for us."

The Seahawks (8-7) have lost three straight and four of their last six but managed to win their third straight NFC West Division title, thanks to San Francisco's 26-20 loss to Arizona.

"We got some help, and normally you don't count on help," said Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren of winning the division title. "We are division champs and that's hard to do in this league. Our record is not what we had hoped, but we are division champs and no one can take that away from us."

Reigning league MVP Shaun Alexander ran for 140 yards and two TDs on 31 carries while Matt Hasselbeck went 17-of-37 for 189 yards and two interceptions for Seattle, which went 10-for-21 on third down.

Alexander scored on a 33-yard run in the third quarter after the Chargers had built a 10-0 lead.

Alexander's nine-yard touchdown run with 12:58 left in the fourth quarter gave Seattle its first lead of the game.

A 33-yard field goal by Josh Brown with 5:07 remaining increased the advantage to 17-13.

"I'm happy in some respects, because I feel at times we were starting to play our brand of football," Hasselbeck said. "You come inside obviously upset about losing the game, then sitting in your locker is a tee-shirt and hat that says you are the NFC West champs, which is really our first goal."








  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 0 7 6 7 20
    SEATTLE 0 0 7 10 17 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: SDG - TD, VINCENT JACKSON 9 YD PASS FROM
    PHILIP RIVERS (NATE KAEDING KICK),
    11:42. Drive: 6 plays, 86 yards in
    2:56. Key plays: Tomlinson 62-yard
    run to Seattle 24; Tomlins

    Dec 24 7:40 PM


  • NFL
    TD SDG
    VINCENT JACKSON 37 YD PASS FROM PHILIP RIVERS
    (NATE KAEDING KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 20
    SEATTLE 17 0:29 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Chargers vs. SeahawksDec 24 7:35 PM
  • 72
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 56 roots

    Chargers vs. SeahawksDec 24 7:35 PM
  • 72
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 6 roots

    Chargers vs. SeahawksDec 24 7:28 PM
  • 72
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 2 roots

    Chargers vs. SeahawksDec 24 7:24 PM
  • 72
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 2 roots

    Chargers vs. SeahawksDec 24 7:19 PM


  • NFL
    FG SEA
    JOSH BROWN 33 YD
    SAN DIEGO 13
    SEATTLE 17 5:07 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Chargers vs. SeahawksDec 24 7:16 PM
  • 72
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 6 roots

    Chargers vs. SeahawksDec 24 7:16 PM


  • NFL
    TD SEA
    SHAUN ALEXANDER 9 YD RUN
    (JOSH BROWN KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 13
    SEATTLE 14 12:58 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Chargers vs. SeahawksDec 24 6:56 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 0 7 6 13
    SEATTLE 0 0 7 7 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: SDG - TD, VINCENT JACKSON 9 YD PASS FROM
    PHILIP RIVERS (NATE KAEDING KICK),
    11:42. Drive: 6 plays, 86 yards in
    2:56. Key plays: Tomlinson 62-yard
    run to Seattle 24;

    Dec 24 6:47 PM


  • NFL
    FG SDG
    NATE KAEDING 40 YD
    SAN DIEGO 13
    SEATTLE 7 2:24 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Chargers vs. SeahawksDec 24 6:41 PM


  • NFL
    TD SEA
    SHAUN ALEXANDER 33 YD RUN
    (JOSH BROWN KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 10
    SEATTLE 7 6:10 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Chargers vs. SeahawksDec 24 6:30 PM


  • NFL
    FG SDG
    NATE KAEDING 46 YD
    SAN DIEGO 10
    SEATTLE 0 12:12 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Chargers vs. SeahawksDec 24 6:12 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 0 7 7
    SEATTLE 0 0 0 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: SDG - TD, VINCENT JACKSON 9 YD PASS FROM
    PHILIP RIVERS (NATE KAEDING KICK),
    11:42. Drive: 6 plays, 86 yards in
    2:56. Key plays: Tomlinson 62-yard
    run to Seattle 24; Toml

    Dec 24 5:46 PM


  • NFL
    TD SDG
    VINCENT JACKSON 9 YD PASS FROM PHILIP RIVERS
    (NATE KAEDING KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 7
    SEATTLE 0 3:18 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Chargers vs. SeahawksDec 24 5:23 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 0 0
    SEATTLE 0 0 END, 1ST QTR

    Dec 24 4:48 PM