The Los Angeles Chargers came into Sunday’s contest with the New York Giants without a win, and a ton of frustration. They helped to shed some of that frustration by notching their first win of the season.
It wasn’t a pretty contest for either team. The game included a combined 14 punts and 21 penalties. Amidst the chaos, running back Melvin Gordon rose above the rest and rushed for 163 total yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns in a 27-22 victory over the still winless Giants at MetLife Stadium.
The game’s turning point occurred with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter when defensive end Melvin Ingram sacked Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who fumbled. Ingram recovered the football at the Giants’ 11-yard line and three plays later, quarterback Philip Rivers found Gordon for a ten-yard touchdown reception, which ended up being the game-winning score.
It was a game plagued with penalties, unforced errors and missed connections. On a third-and-seven in the first quarter, miscommunication lead to a botched snap by center Spencer Pulley that Rivers batted out of the end zone for a safety to make it 2-0 Giants.
Later in the first quarter, Orleans Darkwa dashed 23 yards for a touchdown — the first rushing score from a Giants running back this season. New York led 9-0 after the opening quarter.
The Chargers answered with a six-yard touchdown reception from Rivers to running back Gordon that cut the lead to 9-7 after the new Bolts kicker Nick Novak (who returned to the Chargers earlier this week for a second tour of duty) connected on the extra point. Novak added a 20-yard field goal to give Los Angeles the lead at halftime.
Los Angeles forced a three-and-out to open the second half, and the offense immediately drove down to the Giants’ 14-yard line in four plays. After a false start penalty, Rivers was then intercepted in the end zone by safety Darian Thompson.
With Giants wide receivers Sterling Shepard and Brandon Marshall out of the game with injuries, Eli Manning found Roger Lewis on New York’s next possession for a 29-yard touchdown catch to regain the lead.
Rivers responded on the next Chargers’ possession by connecting with tight end Hunter Henry for a 25-yard touchdown. Los Angeles took a 17-16 lead into the fourth quarter after the 12-play, 90-yard drive.
The back-and-forth continued as Manning hooked up with Odell Beckham Jr. for a 48-yard touchdown strike on the third play of the fourth quarter. The failed two-point conversion put New York up 22-17 before the Chargers scored the last ten points of the game.
Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa registered two sacks, both in the first quarter. Bosa now has 4.5 sacks on the season. Ingram also notched two sacks. Tre Boston intercepted Manning late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
Rivers put forth a strong showing, going 21-of-44 for 258 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
Beckham Suffers Ankle Injury
Late in the fourth quarter, Beckham went up for a catch and was hit in the air by a Los Angeles Chargers defender. Beckham came down under the defender, his ankle bending underneath the defender’s body.
Chargers players immediately called for help as Beckham stayed on the ground in obvious pain, unsuccessfully trying to fight back tears, before being carted off the field.
ESPN’s Jordan Raanan has reported that Beckham would get a second opinion on the injury before deciding whether to have surgery. It’s unclear what the timetable is for his recovery, but the rest of his season is clearly in jeopardy.
We, at cover32/Chargers, wish him the best of luck for a speedy recovery.
The Chargers play their second consecutive road game next Sunday, Oct. 15th at 1:00pm (Pacific) against their divisional rival, the Oakland Raiders.
-Mike D’Abate is the Managing Editor for cover32.com/Chargers and covers the Los Angeles Chargers. He is also a National Content Writer for cover32.com and covers the NFL.