Instant Analysis: Chargers hand Texans first home loss of season


The San Diego Chargers picked up one of their biggest wins of the season, defeating the Houston Texans 21-13 on the road on Sunday. The win improves the Chargers record to 5-6, allowing the team to hold onto its slim playoff hopes.

The Texans were able to gain more total yardage on the ground than the Chargers in this one, but the difference was turnovers. San Diego intercepted Brock Osweiler three times in addition to recovering a fumble. Those turnovers killed any hopes Houston had of winning this game.

The Texans were previously unbeaten at NRG Stadium this season.

Philip Rivers threw three touchdown passes in the game while completing 22 of 30 throws. His 52-yard touchdown pass to Dontrelle Inman opened the scoring for San Diego to tie the game at 7, and he also had touchdown passes to Tyrell Williams and Hunter Henry. Williams set a personal career best by catching eight passes.

The Texans were able to keep Melvin Gordon in check, allowing him to run for just 70 yards. Still, Rivers made some big throws in the game to push the Chargers ahead.

Defensively, San Diego had one of its best performances of the year. The linebacker duo of Denzel Perryman and Korey Toomer combined for 23 tackles. Joey Bosa was a force all day as well, racking up seven tackles of his own and a half of a sack.

But the turnovers were the story. Casey Hayward came up with his league-leading sixth interception of the year and safeties Dwight Lowery and Dexter McCoil each had a pick of the struggling Osweiler as well.

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Late in the game, the Chargers held a 21-10 lead before former Chargers kicker Nick Novak booted a 45-yard field goal with 14 seconds left in the game. Houston then performed a perfect onside kick, which was recovered by backup running back Jonathan Grimes. Fans in San Diego had to be thinking “here we go again”, but two Hail Mary attempts from Osweiler fell short at the end, with the second being intercepted.

The Chargers will return home in Week 13 to battle the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Though the Bucs are a good young team, San Diego should stand a good chance of getting back to .500 and getting back into the Wild Card race.