Rivers leads Chargers to win over Rams
Philip Rivers hadn’t played for the Chargers since the opening drive of the preseason opener two weeks ago — on which he guided Los Angeles to a touchdown.
The team then went 18 straight possessions without scoring another point.
And then Rivers returned, and all that changed.
Rivers completed 6 of 6 passes for 85 yards while playing the first quarter Saturday against the Rams, and in the process guided the Chargers to two touchdowns. In between, Melvin Ingram added a 76-yard touchdown return of a fumble — the result of Joey Bosa strip-sacking Rams quarterback Jared Goff — and the Chargers were on their way to a 21-19 win over the Rams in the Battle for L.A.
Rivers was perfect while finishing with a 158.3 quarterback rating in his short work night, the highlight a 45-yard touchdown strike to Travis Benjamin on the opening drive to put the Chargers up 7-0.
It was the polar opposite of the night Goff had, as the second-year quarterback completed just 5 of 8 passes for 56 yards and an interception while working into the second quarter. He also held onto the ball slightly too long on his opening drive, giving Bosa the necessary time to beat right tackle Rob Havenstein to sack Goff and, in the process, strip him of the ball. Ingram took over from there, taking the fumble the length of the field to put the Chargers up 14-0.
Goff followed the Ingram touchdown by over throwing Sammy Watkins for an easy interception for Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett.
Rivers and the Chargers took over from their, marching 54 yards on nine plays to go up 21-0 on Melvin Gordon’s 2-yard touchdown run.
Sean Mannion came off the bench in relief of Goff and completed 17 of 30 passes for 222 yards — including a 38-yard touchdown strike to impressive rookie Josh Reynolds — to rally the Rams back into the game. The third-year quarterback from Oregon State drove the Rams into scoring position — with a chance to win the game — but Travis Coons misfired on a 33-yard field goal with 7:50 remaining in the game to leave the score 21-19.