Philip Rivers passed for 250 yards and three touchdowns to help the Los Angeles Chargers post a 29-27 victory over the visiting San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
Running back Melvin Gordon accounted for 159 yards (104 rushing, 55 receiving) and caught a scoring pass for the Chargers (2-2). Caleb Sturgis provided the winning points on a 21-yard field goal with 7:41 left.
San Francisco quarterback C.J. Beathard passed for 298 yards and two touchdowns but was intercepted twice in his first start of the season and the sixth of his career. Beathard became the starter when Jimmy Garoppolo (knee) was lost for the season last weekend.
Tight end George Kittle had six receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown for the 49ers (1-3).
The Chargers took the lead for the first time when Rivers tossed a 6-yard scoring pass to Gordon with 10:35 left in the third quarter. Sturgis subsequently missed an extra point for the second time in the game, but he booted a 25-yard field goal to increase the advantage to 26-17 with 7:44 remaining in the third.
San Francisco crept within two as Kittle broke free in the secondary and caught an 82-yard touchdown pass from Beathard with 2:50 left in the third period. The 49ers later moved ahead at 27-26 when Robbie Gould drilled a 33-yard field goal with 12:39 remaining in the game right after Beathard had the wind knocked out of him while scrambling.
The Chargers moved back ahead on Sturgis’ decisive field goal. Two possessions later, Beathard was hit by blitzing safety Derwin James and the pass deflected off pass rusher Melvin Ingram before being corralled by defensive end Isaac Rochell, who returned it 4 yards to the 49ers’ 19-yard line with 2:31 left in the contest.
Los Angeles ran out the clock after the interception.
The 49ers scored two touchdowns in the first 11-plus minutes of the contest.
Rivers overthrew wideout Keenan Allen in the opening minute, and San Francisco safety Antone Exum Jr. intercepted the pass and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown. Later in the quarter, Beathard tossed a 2-yard scoring pass to wideout Kendrick Bourne.
The Chargers pulled within 14-6 with 43 seconds remaining in the first when Rivers connected with tight end Antonio Gates on a 5-yard touchdown pass. San Francisco answered with a 21-play, 72-yard drive that chewed 10 minutes, 44 seconds off the clock but settled for Gould’s 21-yard field goal to make it 17-6 with 4:59 left in the half.
Los Angeles scored 11 points in the final 47 seconds of the half to tie it at 17. Rivers hit running back Austin Ekeler on a 22-yard touchdown pass and followed it with a two-point conversion throw to Gordon. Desmond King returned a punt 56 yards to the San Francisco 32 with 13 seconds left to set up Sturgis’ half-ending, 48-yard field goal.
—Field Level Media