Wrap-up: Saints 31, Chargers 24
October, 8, 2012
By Bill Williamson | ESPN.com
A look at the San Diego Chargers' heart-breaking 31-24 loss to the New Orleans Saints:
What it means: The Chargers blew a golden opportunity to take control of the AFC West. The Chargers fell to 3-2 on a day the other two teams in the AFC West that played (Oakland had a bye) lost.
Momentum swinger: The Chargers were dominating this game and it looked like it was taking a 31-14 lead in the third quarter on an interception return for a score. However, rookie Melvin Ingram was called for roughing the passer on what was a questionable call. The Saints took off after that penalty and ended up scoring 17 unanswered points.
Two tough turnovers: San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers played well, but an interception on a tipped pass and a fumble as the Chargers desperately tried to score on the final drive of the game sullied an otherwise good night for him. This game will be remembered for Ingram’s game-changing penalty.
Mathews’ game: San Diego running back Ryan Mathews had 80 yards on 12 carries, including a spectacular 13-yard touchdown run as he continued to show he is on his way to becoming a productive player.
Meachem breaks out: Former Saints receiver Robert Meachem had his breakout game as a Charger. He had two touchdowns after being nearly invisible in the first quarter of the season.
Big night for former Charger: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, who spent his first five NFL season with the Chargers, broke the NFL record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass with 48. He had shared the mark with Johnny Unitas.
What’s next: The Chargers have a pivotal AFC West game against visiting Denver, 2-3, on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”