Instant Analysis: Late turnovers sink Chargers in loss to Dolphins
The San Diego Chargers seemed to have things well in hand against the Miami Dolphins after jumping out to a 10-0 lead on Sunday. But things sure went downhill in a hurry. The Dolphins intercepted Philip Rivers four times to help them pull off the road win and send the Chargers to 4-6 on the year.
Rivers has often been the one to help pull tough games out over the course of his career, but he threw the game away today, literally.
After recovering a muffed punt at the Dolphins 5-yard line, the Chargers failed to punch it into the end zone. On 2nd-and-goal from the 2-yard line following a penalty against Miami, Rivers tossed the ball up for Tyrell Williams but there were two Dolphins in the vicinity, and Tony Lippett pulled in an easy interception.
Later, Rivers redeemed himself, hitting Williams on a 51-yard touchdown strike with the fourth quarter winding down to give the Chargers a 24-21 lead. However, on the very next play following the kickoff, Ryan Tannehill hit Devante Parker for 56 yards and the Dolphins got another 15 yards tacked on for a roughing the passer penalty against Corey Liuget. That set the Dolphins up with first-and-goal at the Chargers 10-yard line. The San Diego defense held and forced the Dolphins to kick a game-tying field goal.
With just over three minutes to play, the Chargers had a chance to go down the field and set up a game-winning field goal. With the ball at the Miami 42 yard-line, Rivers dropped back to pass only to have Kiko Alonso pick it off and race the other way for a touchdown. Chargers fans looked on in shock as the Dolphins took a 31-24 lead.
With one last gasp effort, Rivers threw yet another interception. Targeting Williams, Rivers was short on his throw and Lippett picked it off to put the game on ice.
Rivers finished the game with 326 yards passing, but the four interceptions—all in the fourth quarter—were too much to overcome.
Williams led the team with 125 yards receiving and Melvin Gordon added 62 yards through the air to go with the 70 yards he picked up on the ground.
San Diego will head into their bye next week before traveling to Houston to face the Texans on November 27. The loss drops the Chargers to three and a half games out of first place in the AFC West and at this point, even a Wild Card will be tough to come by.