The Lightning Rod: Titans Defense Too Much for Chargerscsudhbulletin October 25, 2019 0 COMMENTS
By Jeremy Gonzalez, Sports Editor
During the preview for the Week 7 matchup between the Los Angeles Chargers and Tennessee Titans, I had said that the Titans defense would keep the team in the game and would ultimately lead them to victory. Well guess what ended up happening?
Titans defensive end Jurrell Casey recovered a fumble by Melvin Gordon at the goal line with 15 seconds left to play, and the Titans squeaked out a 23-20 victory Sunday over the Chargers after a dramatic finish. .
On that frantic final play, Gordon was initially ruled down shy of the goal line at the 1 yard line. Casey came out of the pile with the ball in hand and the Titans began celebrating. The play was reviewed and overturned the initial ruling that Gordon was short of the goal line.
The call was a fumble forced by Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard and was recovered by Casey for a touchback.
Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers led his team down the field during the final drive to set up the dramatic finish. The Chargers (2-5) thought they had scored the go-ahead touchdown not once but twice in the final 44 seconds only to lose both on review by the replay officials.
Rivers and the Chargers almost pulled off an amazing comeback after being down 23-13 with 6:39 left to play in the game. Rivers completed a 41-yard touchdown pass to running back Austin Ekeler with 5:09 left to play. The Chargers defense stopped Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill on fourth-and-inches near midfield and the Chargers took over for the final drive, which ended with them turning over the ball.
Rivers finished the day with 329 passing yards and two touchdowns.
Tannehill was promoted to starting quarterback for the Titans as the team looked for a spark on offense, and Tannehill delivered in his first start. He threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns, led the team to its first home win of the season and led the Titans offense to a season-high 403 total yards.
He was 23 of 29 and outdueled Rivers on a day where the 16-year veteran moved to sixth on the all-time career passing yards list. Rivers surpassed Ben Rothlisberger and Eli Manning, both of whom were selected in the same 2004 draft class as Rivers, to move up on the list. Dan Marino, Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees are the five quarterbacks ahead of Rivers. Only Brady and Brees are active players. Marino, Favre, and Manning hung up their cleats and retired.
More injuries occurred this week to deplete an already banged up Chargers roster. They already lost center Mike Pouncey for the season and left tackle Russell Okung is trying to work his way back from the non-football injury list with his blood clot. Then left guard Forrest Lamp was carted from the sideline to the locker room midway through the second quarter because of an injury on his ankle. It was later reported that Lamp is out for the season after sustaining a broken ankle.
The Chargers have now lost three in a row and five of their past six games.
Titans: Tennessee will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4) in Week 8 and will look to ride their momentum from their win over the Chargers. Tampa Bay is coming off their bye week and lost their last two games before the bye week.
Chargers: Los Angeles will travel to the Windy City to face the Chicago Bears (3-3) as they try to break out of their slump. Chicago is coming off a 36-25 loss in Week 7 to a New Orleans Saints team that played without their starting quarterback Drew Brees and star running back Alvin Kamara.