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(Sunday, November 7th)
Final Score: San Diego 29, Houston 23
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Philip Rivers threw four touchdowns passes, including a go-ahead strike to Seyi Ajirotutu with 5:17 remaining in the fourth quarter, as the San Diego Chargers downed the Houston Texans, 29-23, to secure their first road win of the season.
Rivers was 17-of-23 for 295 yards with one interception for the Chargers (4-5), who have won all four meetings against the Texans. San Diego had lost each of its first four road contests and won consecutive games for the first time this year.
Matt Schaub threw for 266 yards for Houston (4-4), but his last attempt deflected off wideout Andre Johnson and San Diego's Paul Oliver made a diving interception to seal the win inside the two-minute warning.
Arian Foster ran for 127 yards and two touchdowns for the Texans, who gambled on the first play of the fourth quarter. Facing a 4th-and-one from the San Diego 17, Houston head coach Gary Kubiak opted against a short field goal. The decision backfired as Foster was wrapped up for no gain.
"You always regret it when it doesn't work," Kubiak said about the failed play on fourth down. "I thought we could get a half a yard and stay on the field. That's something we work on all the time. In that situation, I give (San Diego) credit, they stopped it. It was a bad call by me. We didn't get it done."
The Texans got the ball back after Kareem Jackson picked off Rivers, but couldn't capitalize on the turnover and punted the ball away.
Down 23-21, San Diego then drove for the go-ahead score, beginning at its own 35-yard line. Two plays after converting a third down with a 13-yard toss to Ajirotutu, Rivers hooked up with the rookie wide receiver for a 28-yard touchdown. The Chargers led 29-23 after a two-point conversion.
"I was in the slot and it was man to man," Ajirotutu said. "I just beat him to the outside and (Rivers) threw an awesome ball."
Houston marched to the San Diego 34 on its next series before turning the ball over on downs. The Texans got another shot when the Chargers were forced to punt.
Starting from his own 14-yard line with 3:06 remaining, Schaub guided the Texans to the San Diego 28 before his pass ricocheted off Johnson. Oliver's interception was upheld following a booth review.
A gaffe by the Chargers on the game's opening kickoff pinned them deep in their own territory. Neil Rackers' kick was heading out of bounds, but Jacob Hester attempted to the field the ball. He failed to stay in bounds, and the Chargers began at the four-yard line.
Houston forced the league's No. 1 offense to go three-and-out, and Stanford Keglar deflected Mike Scifres' punt to set the Texans up at the Chargers' eight. Foster ran into the end zone on the next play to give Houston the early lead.
The Chargers came right back with a six-play drive that ended with Rivers finding a streaking Ajirotutu behind the Houston secondary for a 55-yard touchdown.
Rackers drilled a 27-yard field goal to put Houston up 10-7, but San Diego moved ahead on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to Randy McMichael with 1:08 remaining in an entertaining first quarter.
Ryan Mathews fumbled early in the second quarter, and the Texans converted the turnover into points as Foster ran for a two-yard TD.
San Diego punted the ball away and Houston drove to the three-yard line, where on third down Schaub threw a short toss to Foster that was initially called a touchdown.
However, the play was overturned and ruled an incompletion following a booth review. The official said Foster made the catch as he was going to the ground and the ball came out immediately when it hit the turf.
Rackers made a 21-yarder to give the Texans a 20-14 lead with 22 seconds left in the first half, then capped the opening possession of the third quarter with a 25-yarder.
The Chargers answered with a seven-play, 74-yard drive to trim their deficit to 23-21. Rivers completed a 47-yard pass to Patrick Crayton on third down to move San Diego across midfield. Consecutive runs placed the ball at the 12 before McMichael hauled in his second touchdown pass.
Rivers has thrown a touchdown pass in 22 straight games, the longest active streak in the NFL...The Chargers have won six consecutive November games...San Diego tight end Antonio Gates missed the game because of toe and foot injures...Schaub surpassed 13,000 passing yards for his career.
11/07 18:54:58 ET
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