Phillip Rivers was ready to get a win, and in the Chargers mind, they were just on the brink of having the season that they had hoped for, despite being 2-5. The Broncos had fallen back down to 2-5, and they were only one loss away from the Raiders (3-3). They were gearing up to play the 5-2 Chiefs two times this season, who are without Patrick Mahomes. It seemed as if the stars were aligning and that they would snap their two game losing streak…
It was 2nd Down and 10 at the Tennessee 16 yard line. The Chargers were down 20-23 to the Titans, and had the ball with 44 seconds left. Phillip knew what to do. In Shotgun, he caught the snapped ball and found running back Austin Ekeler in the end zone for a 16 yard pass. TOUCHDOWN! As the Chargers began to celebrate their win on the field, the referees called for a moment to review the call as a touchdown.
Pretty soon the officials came back and announced that the runner broke the plane ruling, and the result was an incomplete pass.
So, Rivers got back out there again and literally did the same exact thing. Austin Ekeler was open for the middle pass and caught it — except this time its was one yard shy of a touchdown.
Tennessee called their first timeout of the half.
Now it was 1st & goal at the Titans 1 yard line. 49 seconds left. Rivers snaps the ball, but even before he could do that flags were thrown and whistles were blown. Pretty soon the lead official entered the middle of the field and began to hand motion a call:
” False start. Number 66 — offense. 5-yard penalty, replay 1st down.”
Now the Chargers had to move back to the 5 yard line. It was 1st & goal at the Titans 5 yard line with 39 seconds left. Phillip Rivers was in shotgun formation. As the play began, Rivers found receiver Mike Williams and threw a short pass to his left. Incomplete. Pretty soon a flag was thrown at the one yard line.
“Pass interference. Defense number 21. After distance to the goal, 1st down.”
Alright this was complete Deja vu for the Chargers and the had yet another opportunity to pull through to get the touchdown.
1st & goal at the Tennessee 1 yard line with 34 seconds to go in the fourth quarter. Rivers lines up in shotgun and sure enough he gets a short pass into the end zone to Melvin Gordon. TOUCHDOWN! But the officials wanted to review the play some more.
Believe it or not, they called this touchdown back as well! Melvin Gordon had another opportunity to score for the Chargers and ran for no gain.
2nd & goal, and the Chargers have the ball on the one yard line with 19 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Phillip Rivers hands it off to Gordon again and he has no gain. But then out of a sudden, THE BALL CAME LOOSE! Tennessee recovered the ball and the result of the play was a touchback.
What a heartbreaking loss for the Los Angeles Chargers. The worst part had to be that they were at one point close to winning the AFC West division, but now they most-likely lost won’t because of the touchdowns that didn’t happen in their game.
This had to be embarrassing for the Chargers. They couldn’t beat the Titans, even with Tannehill being the starter. That’s right: The Titans didn’t even start Mariota. It’s pretty obvious how desperate they were for this win.
Many rumors were circling about Phillip Rivers possibly retiring after this season. But after watching this performance, I’m not buying it. Phillip is hungry for a playoff season, and he won’t be retiring until he gets one last one.
Photo Credit:By Jeffrey Beall – Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62416847