Chargers
Titans
23 - 17 Final
  for this game

Chargers rally to sink Titans

Dec 10, 2007 - 1:02 AM By Chip Cirillo PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) - Philip Rivers hurt his knee and then he hurt the Tennessee Titans' playoff chances.

After straining a ligament in his left knee in the second quarter, Rivers rallied the San Diego Chargers from a 14-point deficit to a 23-17 overtime victory over Tennessee at LP Field on Sunday.

"These are the games that the great teams and I'm not saying we're there yet that you win," Rivers said. "You find a way to win. You played lousy for most parts of the game. You put your defense in a bind and they bailed you out as many times as they could.

"These are the kind of games that can give you a huge boost and make you even that much closer."

San Diego remained two games ahead of the Denver Broncos in the AFC West.

Rivers injured his knee when his foot got caught in the turf while making a pitch to LaDainian Tomlinson, who scored the winning touchdown on a 16-yard run with 7:29 left in overtime.

"It was just a power play," Tomlinson said. "I saw that they were really bunched inside so I knew that they were expecting us to get in the middle of the field. Once I sucked them up in there a little bit and bounced outside, I got a good stiff arm on the linebacker and from there I was able to outrun everybody else."

Tomlinson rushed for 146 yards and one TD on 26 carries for the Chargers (8-5), who trailed, 17-3, early in the fourth quarter.

That's when Rivers went to work, throwing two touchdown passes during the final eight minutes of regulation to send the game into overtime tied at 17-17.

Rivers tossed a 7-yard touchdown pass to Tomlinson with 7:29 left and a 2-yard strike to tight end Antonio Gates on 3rd-and-goal with nine seconds remaining.

One of the biggest plays of the game came when Rivers completed a 19-yard pass to Chris Chambers on 4th-and-5 during the game-tying drive in the fourth quarter.

The pass was low and the Titans challenged the completion, but the play was upheld by replay and San Diego kept the ball at the Chargers 44-yard line.

"Luckily, they didn't have a lot of evidence," Chambers said. "I felt like I had my arms under the ball and made sure I secured it once I got up. When I saw the screen they didn't have very many camera angles. I couldn't really tell, but I felt very confident I came down with the ball."

Rivers completed 21-of-40 passes for 228 yards, but he threw two interceptions that led to 10 points for the Titans (7-6). His knee injury knocked him out of the last 11 minutes of the second quarter, but he returned at the start of the second half.

Rivers also converted a 3rd-and-4 play with an 11-yard pass to Gates to the Titans 31 three plays before Tomlinson scored the winning TD.

"In the third and fourth quarter it didn't look great, but our guys kept fighting and made enough plays and found a way to get the game into overtime," Chargers coach Norv Turner said. "Our guys talked a lot about that (Floyd Mayweather-Ricky Hatton WBC welterweight) fight (Saturday) night and this was like that fight. It was a 10-rounder and it was very physical."

Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman, a Pro Bowler the past two seasons, injured his left knee in the third quarter. San Diego fullback Lorenzo Neal, a former Titan, suffered a fractured fibula.

Tennessee is battling Jacksonville (9-4), Cleveland (8-5) and Buffalo (7-6) for an AFC wild card spot.

"When you play a team as talented as the Chargers, you have to find a way to put them away," Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. "And we didn't do that. We let them hang around and make plays. I'm very disappointed."

Tennessee's LenDale White rushed for 113 yards and one TD on 30 carries. His 7-yard TD run with 14:21 left gave the Titans a seemingly commanding 17-3 lead, but San Diego answered with three consecutive TDs to win for the seventh time in the last nine games.

"This is the NFL, man," White said. "Nothing is over until it's over. You have to play all the way to the finish. It is upsetting because we did have the game won. I don't know if the best team won today, but the guys who made more plays won today."






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  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH
    --- --- --- ---
    SAN DIEGO 0 0 3 14
    TENNESSEE 3 0 7 7
    OT TOTAL
    --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 6 23
    TENNESSEE 0 17 FINAL IN OVERTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TEN - FG, ROB BIRONAS 44 YD, 9:41. Drive: 4
    plays, 3 yards

    Dec 9 4:37 PM


  • NFL
    TD SDG
    LADAINIAN TOMLINSON RECOVERED BLOCKED PUNT IN END ZONE
    SAN DIEGO 23
    TENNESSEE 17 7:29 LEFT, 1ST OT

    Chargers vs. TitansDec 9 4:37 PM
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  • NFL
    END, 4TH QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 0 0 3 14 17
    TENNESSEE 3 0 7 7 17 GOING INTO OVERTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TEN - FG, ROB BIRONAS 44 YD, 9:41. Drive: 4
    plays, 3 yards in 1:59. Key plays:
    Griffin interception at San Diego
    29. TENNESSEE 3-0
    2ND QUARTER: NONE
    3RD QUARTER: SDG - FG, NATE

    Dec 9 4:17 PM
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  • NFL
    TD SDG
    ANTONIO GATES 2 YD PASS FROM PHILIP RIVERS
    (NATE KAEDING KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 17
    TENNESSEE 17 0:09 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Chargers vs. TitansDec 9 4:15 PM
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  • NFL
    TD SDG
    LADAINIAN TOMLINSON 7 YD PASS FROM PHILIP RIVERS
    (NATE KAEDING KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 10
    TENNESSEE 17 7:29 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Chargers vs. TitansDec 9 3:42 PM


  • NFL
    TD TEN
    LENDALE WHITE 7 YD RUN
    (ROB BIRONAS KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 3
    TENNESSEE 17 14:21 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Chargers vs. TitansDec 9 3:24 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 0 0 3 3
    TENNESSEE 3 0 7 10 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TEN - FG, ROB BIRONAS 44 YD, 9:41. Drive: 4
    plays, 3 yards in 1:59. Key plays:
    Griffin interception at San Diego
    29. TENNESSEE 3-0
    2ND QUARTER: NONE
    3RD QUARTER: SDG - FG, NATE KAEDING

    Dec 9 3:19 PM


  • NFL
    TD TEN
    CHRIS BROWN 7 YD RUN
    (ROB BIRONAS KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 3
    TENNESSEE 10 5:17 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Chargers vs. TitansDec 9 3:07 PM


  • NFL
    FG SDG
    NATE KAEDING 20 YD
    SAN DIEGO 3
    TENNESSEE 3 11:43 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Chargers vs. TitansDec 9 2:50 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 0 0 0
    TENNESSEE 3 0 3 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TEN - FG, ROB BIRONAS 44 YD, 9:41. Drive: 4
    plays, 3 yards in 1:59. Key plays:
    Griffin interception at San Diego
    29. TENNESSEE 3-0
    2ND QUARTER: NONE

    Dec 9 2:29 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 0 0
    TENNESSEE 3 3 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TEN - FG, ROB BIRONAS 44 YD, 9:41. Drive: 4
    plays, 3 yards in 1:59. Key plays:
    Griffin interception at San Diego
    29. TENNESSEE 3-0

    Dec 9 1:40 PM


  • NFL
    FG TEN
    ROB BIRONAS 44 YD
    SAN DIEGO 0
    TENNESSEE 3 5:19 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Chargers vs. TitansDec 9 1:24 PM
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