Rivers tosses 3 TDs to help Chargers over Texans 21-13
HOUSTON (AP) — San Diego’s Philip Rivers read all week about the Texans being 5-0 at home. He decided the Chargers should be the ones to end their perfect record in Houston.
“I don’t like getting caught up in too much bulletin-board stuff, but I liked that, the fact this team was unbeaten at home, so let’s go change that,” Rivers said. “It was in my head all week that we could stop the streak.”
Rivers did just that, throwing for 242 yards and three touchdowns to give the Chargers a 21-13 win over the mistake-prone Texans on Sunday. Dontrelle Inman had 119 yards receiving and a touchdown to help San Diego (5-6) to the victory.
The Texans (6-5) were done in by four turnovers, including three interceptions by Brock Osweiler . He was so bad Sunday that coach Bill O’Brien was asked twice after the game if he’d considered benching him for backup Tom Savage.
O’Brien said he wouldn’t be benched but didn’t elaborate, and Osweiler took the blame for the loss.
“I need to play better for us to win,” he said. “I feel like our team gave us the opportunity to win today and I didn’t play up to what I’m capable of doing, and that’s on me and I’ll get that cleaned up.”
The Chargers were up by four in the fourth quarter when Rivers evaded the rush and delivered a 25-yard pass to Inman. Kareem Jackson was flagged for unnecessary roughness for a helmet-to-helmet hit on the play, leaving San Diego at the 12-yard line. Rivers delivered a touchdown pass to rookie Hunter Henry on the next play to push the lead to 21-10.
Osweiler’s second interception came after that when he badly overthrew C.J. Fiedorowicz and Dwight Lowery made the easy grab.
Houston added a field goal with 37 seconds left and recovered an onside kick. But Osweiler’s first shot at the end zone was knocked down, and the second one was intercepted as time expired.
It was yet another shaky performance for Osweiler, who has struggled in his first year in Houston after leaving to Denver to sign a $72 million contract. He has 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Despite his inconsistent play and a second straight loss, the Texans still have a ½ game lead on Tennessee in the weak AFC South .
Houston was driving in the third quarter when Lamar Miller fumbled at the end of a 20-yard run. He was initially ruled down, but San Diego challenged the call and it was overturned. But it didn’t matter much as an interception by Quintin Demps gave Houston the ball back four plays later.
The Texans had a first down at the 6-yard line on their next drive before the offense stalled and they settled for a 19-yard field goal to cut the lead to 14-10 early in the fourth quarter.
Rivers found a wide-open Inman for a 52-yard touchdown pass that tied it at 7 in the second quarter. Osweiler was intercepted by Casey Hayward on the next drive, and San Diego took a 14-7 lead when Rivers connected with Tyrell Williams on a 21-yard scoring pass.
“Our defense has done an outstanding job ... of creating turnovers,” San Diego coach Mike McCoy said. “We’ve made the most of those opportunities.”
The Texans led 7-0 after a 1-yard touchdown run by Osweiler in the second quarter. Rookie Will Fuller had a 33-yard reception on that drive to put Houston in scoring position.
At the conclusion of the first quarter referee Jeff Triplette turned on his microphone to announce that it was the end of the third quarter. He immediately realized his mistake and corrected himself while laughing and smiling.
San Diego’s second-year RB Melvin Gordon had 70 yards rushing on Sunday to leave him 92 yards away from reaching 1,000 yards for the first time. The last time the Chargers had a 1,000-yard rusher was in 2013 when Ryan Mathews had 1,255 yards.
San Diego rookie fullback Derek Watt was disappointed he missed a chance to play against his brother J.J. Watt on Sunday with the Texans star defensive end out for the season after back surgery.
“Obviously that would have been a pretty special experience,” Derek Watt said. “We never had that opportunity in athletic competition outside of just messing around stuff.”
Chargers : Host Tampa Bay next Sunday.
Texans : Play their next two on the road, starting with a trip to Green Bay next Sunday.