Bolts Report Week 1
Texans 31, Chargers 28
It was déjà vu all over again at Qualcomm Stadium last Monday night. It may be a new season, but the result was the same. There may be a new coach, but the result was the same. The Chargers were wearing new uniforms, but the result was the same. San Diego played extremely well for the first 2+ quarters and led the Houston Texans 28-7 after the opening drive of the 3rd quarter. But the Chargers didn’t score the rest of the game, eventually losing 31-28 on a Randy Bullock 41-yard field goal as time expired in the 4th quarter.
The game couldn’t have started any better for San Diego. Houston QB Matt Schaub threw an interception on the game’s first play. The Chargers recovered on the Texans’ 14-yard line and on San Diego’s first offensive play, QB Philip Rivers connected with Ryan Matthews to make it 7-0.
The Chargers took the lead 14-7 later in the first quarter as Rivers floated a 6-yard TD pass into Eddie Royal’s hands. The Chargers were still leading 14-7 late into the 2nd quarter when a beautiful one handed grab by Antonio Gates gave the Chargers first and goal from the 5. Then Vincent Brown made an acrobatic catch and dive over the pylon to put the Chargers up 21-7 going into halftime.
San Diego’s Malcolm Floyd caught a 47 yard pass on the first play of 3rd quarter to get things going. Charger Eddie Royal had his 2nd TD catch of the night to put SD up 28-7. At that point the Chargers were on a roll, going 7 for 10 on third down conversions and 4 for 4 in red zone. Unfortunately they never came close to scoring again. The Texans quickly responded and scored with 4:57 left in the 3rd quarter on an 82-yard drive, making it 28-14.
An unusual penalty on San Diego resulted in 3 points coming off the board for the Texans late in the 3rd quarter. Chargers’ defensive tackle Cam Thomas was called for a “roughing the center” penalty on a Houston 37 yard field goal, giving Houston an automatic 1st down at the Chargers 9-yard line. On the next play, the Texans scored on a pass to tight end Owen Daniels to make the score 28-21 in favor of the Bolts.
Charger fans had seen this before and knew that the tide had turned; it was all Houston the rest of the way. Texan linebacker Brian Cushing intercepted a Rivers’ pass deep in SD territory and returned it 18 yards for a Houston TD to tie the game 28-28 with just under 10 minutes left in the game. After each team punted, the Chargers had one more chance to score, but were forced to punt with 4:06 left in the game. The Texans marched down the field and set themselves up for the game-winning field goal.
Week 2 for the Chargers is a trip to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles.