EditorsNote: Adds detail on Chargers’ last gasp (fourth graf); a few other minor tweaks
Deshaun Watson connected with tight end Jordan Akins for two second-half touchdowns to lead the Houston Texans to a 27-20 come-from-behind victory against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday at Carson, Calif.
Watson escaped the grasp of Melvin Ingram and hit Akins for a 53-yard scoring play with 9:40 left in the fourth quarter to make it 27-17. Houston missed the PAT.
The Chargers had appeared to stop the Texans’ drive five plays earlier on Rayshawn Jenkins’ interception, but the turnover was nullified by offsetting penalties, including a facemask infraction on Desmond King.
Los Angeles drove 60 yards in 14 plays in the final four minutes, but Philip Rivers’ fourth-and-14 pass fell incomplete with 11 seconds remaining to seal the Texans’ win. Ty Long’s 43-yard field goal had cut the Los Angeles deficit to 27-20 with 7:14 to go.
Watson finished 25 of 34 for 351 yards and three touchdowns for the Texans (2-1).
Rivers was 31 of 46 for 318 yards for the Chargers (1-2). L.A.’s Keenan Allen had 13 catches for 183 and two touchdowns.
Los Angeles compiled just two sacks for 14 yards after the Texans entered having allowed four or more sacks for eight consecutive games.
Houston sacked Rivers five times.
Houston took its first lead at 21-17 when Watson hit Akins with a 15-yard TD pass with 1:19 to go in the third quarter. The six-play, 73-yard drive began after Zach Cunningham recovered a Rivers fumble on the Texans 27.
Houston got within 17-14 on Carlos Hyde’s 3-yard run with 7:31 remaining in the third quarter. The eight-play, 55-yard drive included a 15-yard Watson-to-DeAndre Hopkins pass play on third-and-14.
Rivers’ second TD pass to Allen — for 12 yards with 22 seconds left in the first half — capped an eight-play, 89-yard drive in 1:18 and built a 17-7 Los Angeles lead.
Houston managed just 19 first-half rushing yards on nine carries.
The Chargers took a 10-0 lead on a 7-yard scoring pass to Allen and Long’s 34-yard field goal.
The Texans pulled within 10-7 at 8:11 of the second quarter when Watson grabbed a bad snap and connected with Darren Fells for a 16-yard TD pass. The play was set up by a 38-yard flea flicker from Watson to Kenny Stills that combined with a roughing-the-passer penalty on defensive end Joey Bosa.
—Field Level Media