Sunday, September 22, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Titans 20, Chargers 17
By Eric D. Williams
A few thoughts on the San Diego Chargers' 20-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans.
What it means: The Chargers had not lost to the Titans since the franchise was in Houston and known as the Oilers in 1992 (nine straight games). San Diego lets another game slip away in the final moments and falls to 1-2.
Defense can’t stop Locker: Tennessee quarterback Jake Locker went 7-of-10 for 94 yards on the game-winning drive, including a 34-yard touchdown strike to rookie receiver Justin Hunter with 15 seconds left. San Diego could have effectively ended the game four plays earlier, but defensive back Marcus Gilchrist couldn’t hold onto an interception on a tipped ball off the hands of Titans tight end Delanie Walker. Locker finished 23-of-37 for 299 passing yards.
Stock watch: Rising -- Philip Rivers continues to show a rebirth under new Chargers coach Mike McCoy. Rivers completed 20 of 24 passes for 184 yards with a 7-yard touchdown pass to tight end Antonio Gates. Rivers now has eight touchdown passes and just one interception on the year. Rivers did cost his team field position with a personal foul penalty for arguing an offensive pass interference call in the first half that negated an Eddie Royal touchdown pass in the first half. The Chargers had to settle for a Nick Novak 44-yard field goal on the drive.
Reserves step up: Michael Harris started in place of rookie D.J. Fluker (concussion) at right tackle and looked solid in pass protection, not giving up a sack. Harris also made a key block on Ronnie Brown's 1-yard touchdown run that put San Diego ahead in the second half, 17-10. Reggie Walker was a late replacement at inside linebacker in place of Donald Butler (groin), and notched a sack in the first half.
Titans run wild: Tennessee owned the line of scrimmage offensively, finishing with 170 rushing yards. Chris Johnson rushed 19 times for 90 yards. And Locker finished with 68 rushing yards.
What’s next: The Chargers return home to face the Dallas Cowboys next Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET.