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(Sunday, November 15th)
Final Score: San Diego 31, Philadelphia 23
San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for two touchdowns and Philip Rivers threw for a pair of scores to guide San Diego to a 31-23 victory over an Eagles squad that couldn't overcome three lackluster quarters.
Tomlinson rushed for a season-high 96 yards on 24 carries, while Rivers was an efficient 20-of-25 for 231 yards for the Chargers (6-3), who have won four straight to tie Denver atop the AFC West standings. The Chargers play in Denver next Sunday.
"We didn't know it would happen like this or this fast that we'd be sitting here with the same record, but we believed we could get ourselves back in it because we were talking about 11 more ball games," said Rivers. "There's a lot of football left still. There's no telling where things can go."
Mike Tolbert and Legedu Naanee each caught a TD pass for San Diego, which chewed up nearly seven minutes on the clock during a 12-play, 66-yard drive late in the fourth quarter to all but seal the victory.
"I thought to beat them we would have to play our most complete game," said Chargers coach Norv Turner. "There's no question I feel we did that. I think we limited the big plays and played great red zone defense. It's a big win for our football team."
Donovan McNabb had a good statistical game, finishing with 450 yards and a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes for the Eagles (5-4), who were coming off a 20-16 loss to Dallas last weekend.
McNabb, who connected on 35-of-55 throws, threw two balls in the end zone in the waning seconds, with the latter getting intercepted by Antonio Cromartie as time expired.
Brian Westbrook returned to the field after a two-game absence but sustained his second concussion in four weeks during the loss.
"We're going to do everything the right way," Eagles coach Andy Reid said referring to Westbrook's injury. "We're going to approach it with every precautionary measure we can to make sure Brian is okay. In these types of situations football is secondary. You have to look at this kid for his future and make sure everything's okay for him."
Jeremy Maclin's five-yard reception in the left corner of the end zone pulled the Eagles within 28-16 with 14:12 remaining in the game.
San Diego went three-and-out and the Eagles moved the ball with relative ease against the Chargers' prevent defense. Brent Celek kept the drive moving with a 17-yard reception on 4th-and-4 from the San Diego 28, and the tight end caught a six-yard TD pass to make it a one-score affair.
The Chargers took over with a little over seven minutes left and held the ball for 6:42 thanks to a pair of third-down conversions, the latter an 18-yard reception by Naanee that put the ball at the Philadelphia 15.
That was the last first down for the San Diego offense, but the Eagles had no timeouts following the two-minute warning. As time ticked down, Nate Kaeding booted a 29-yard field goal with 30 seconds left to make it 31-23.
McNabb moved the Eagles 32 yards with a pair of completions, but his last- second bullet to the end zone went directly into the arms of Cromartie.
The hosts went up 7-0 midway through the opening frame when Rivers hit Tolbert with a dump pass in the middle of the field that turned into a 20-yard score.
With the Eagles sputtering on offense, San Diego embarked on a 10-play, 82- yard drive that culminated with Tomlinson's three-yard TD run four minutes into the second quarter.
Philadelphia twice penetrated the red zone later in the half but only came away with field goals each time. A defensive pass interference penalty gave the Eagles the ball at the San Diego one, but two unsuccessful runs around an incomplete pass brought on David Akers for an 18-yard chip shot.
The visitors then settled for a 25-yarder from Akers just before halftime.
"When you have those opportunities to score you have to pound it in there," said McNabb. "Credit to them, they stopped us from running the ball in the end zone."
Tomlinson knifed through the Eagles defensive line on his way to a 20-yard touchdown scamper at the eight-minute mark of the third quarter.
On Philly's second possession of the half, the club again moved inside the 10 only to come up short of the end zone. On 3rd-and-1 from the San Diego seven, McNabb threw an incomplete pass, and the Eagles opted for a 25-yard Akers field goal to cut their deficit to 21-9 with 5:51 left in the third.
A defensive offside penalty on 3rd-and-2 moved the chains on the next Chargers drive, and Rivers found a wide open Naanee in the right corner of the end zone on the next play for a 20-yard score.
Tomlinson's two touchdowns moved him past Marcus Allen for the third most career TDs in NFL history with 146...Eagles cornerback Sheldon Brown left the game early with a hamstring injury...Philadelphia had not dropped back-to-back games since Weeks 4 and 5 of the 2008 season...The Chargers have won five straight over the Eagles in San Diego...Westbrook had 28 yards on six carries before leaving early...Antonio Gates had team-highs of seven catches for 78 yards for San Diego...Jason Avant led the Eagles' receiving corps with 156 yards on eight catches.
11/15 22:14:30 ET
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