Final Score: San Diego 33, Tennessee 25
San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - Philip Rivers threw for 305 yards and two
touchdowns, and San Diego held off a late Tennessee drive to record a much-
needed 33-25 victory over the Titans.
Rivers completed 27-of-36 passes and was intercepted once for the Chargers
(3-5), who had lost their previous three games by a combined 14 points.
Antonio Gates was the primary target of Rivers, catching five passes for 123
yards and a touchdown.
Matt Tolbert carried the ball 11 times for 63 yards and a touchdown for San
Diego, while Ryan Mathews also ran for a score in the Chargers' eighth
straight victory (including playoffs) over the Titans.
Vince Young recorded 253 passing yards and two touchdowns on 10-of-21 throws
before leaving with a knee/ankle injury in the second half, as the Titans
(5-3) failed to extend their win streak past three. Nate Washington hauled in
four passes for 117 yards and a touchdown in defeat.
Chris Johnson ran for 59 yards and a score and had five receptions for 24
yards for Tennessee. Kerry Collins took over for Young and went 8-for-15 for
52 yards but was unable to lead a potential game-tying drive in the fourth
San Diego extended its lead to eight, 27-19, when Kris Brown kicked a 36-yard
field goal three minutes into the fourth quarter.
Tennessee, though, came right back with a big play.
On the first play from scrimmage on the ensuing Titans drive, Young found
Washington wide open down the middle of the field for a 71-yard easy pitch-
and-catch touchdown. No defender was within 10 yards of Washington, who raced
untouched to the end zone.
That brought Tennessee to within two, but the two-point conversion attempt was
San Diego had a response with an eight-play, 52-yard drive that ended when
Darren Sproles caught a short pass from Rivers and raced 13 yards for a
touchdown with 6:51 to play. Sproles had returned the kickoff 27 yards to the
33, and a 15-yard penalty put the Chargers in prime field position.
Young was injured on the following drive, and Tennessee was forced to punt
from near midfield. After a San Diego punt, the Titans gained possession at
their own 42 with 2:38 to play with a chance to tie.
Collins found Damian Williams for a 17-yard gain on 3rd-and-6 to gain the San
Diego 37, and a fourth down conversion to Lavelle Hawkins -- a 10-yard
completion -- kept Tennessee's hopes alive as the clock ticked near a minute
From the 23-yard line, Johnson took a short pass four yards to the 19, and
Washington caught a four-yard pass to set up 3rd-and-2. Collins, though, threw
two straight incompletions, ending any hopes at a comeback.
"I love the resiliency of our football team," Chargers head coach Norv Turner
said. "Our guys just kept playing. When we had a negative play our guys just
responded and came back with a play that gave us a chance to win."
The first points of the game came on a Tennessee safety, when Nick Schommer
blocked a Mike Scifres punt and the ball bounced out of the end zone.
The Chargers had an answer with 4 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter,
though, traveling 83 yards in 15 plays. Tolbert rumbled in from a yard away
for a 7-2 advantage.
Rob Bironas cut the Titans' deficit to two with a 21-yard field goal in the
final moments of the first, and Young's one-yard touchdown pass to Craig
Stevens seven minutes into the second provided Tennessee a 12-7 edge.
After the Chargers went three-and-out, Johnson capped the next Titans drive
with a nifty 29-yard touchdown run around the left end to give the visitors a
"Their defense flowed really heavy, so I knew I had a chance when I cut back
to get in the end zone," recalled Johnson.
San Diego got back on the board with Mathews' seven-yard scamper into the end
zone to cap a five-play, 72-yard series in just 2:48. Consecutive completions
by Rivers for 25 and 33 yards, respectively, helped the Chargers move down the
field quickly to score on the first play after the two-minute warning.
Tennessee held a 19-14 halftime lead, but Brown's 34-yard field goal on San
Diego's opening drive of the second half cut the deficit to two.
The Titans appeared to have an interception return for a touchdown on the
Chargers' next series, but Michael Griffin was ruled to have held Gates on a
pass play deep in San Diego territory. The next play saw Tolbert run for 36
yards to the Tennessee 48, and Gates found the end zone on the next snap on a
wide-open catch down the left sideline with 4:20 left in the third, giving the
Chargers a 24-19 lead.
Rivers now has 2,649 passing yards on the season, the most after eight games
in NFL history. He broke the record of former Chargers signal-caller Dan
Fouts...Titans head coach Jeff Fisher is 0-6 all-time against San Diego. The
last time the Tennessee franchise beat the Chargers was in 1992 as the Houston
Oilers...The Titans suffered their first road defeat, having started 3-0.
10/31 22:36:56 ET
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