The San Diego Chargers (5-6) will meet the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-5) in Week 13, a team that they have only played 10 times.
As you can see by the records of these teams, this will be an important game for playoff position. With six losses against them in a loaded AFC, the margin for error in San Diego is slim.
The Bucs are a hot team boasting a talented young quarterback and wide receiver combination of Jameis Winston and Mike Evans. The two are putting up big numbers this season, but neither player was in the league the last time the Chargers and Bucs met.
Back then, Josh Freeman was the Buccaneers’ quarterback, but it was miscues by the Chargers that allowed Tampa Bay to get a 34-24 win on November 11, 2012 in Raymond James Stadium.
Philip Rivers started out strong, throwing two first quarter touchdown passes. One of those was an 80-yard toss to Danario Alexander. Tampa Bay was able to keep pace after Adam Hayward returned a blocked punt off the foot of Mike Scifres 29 yards for a score. However, with less than 30 seconds remaining in the first half, Rivers found Malcom Floyd on a 3-yard touchdown pass to put the Bolts back on top, 21-17.
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Freeman hit Tiquan Underwood on a 15-yard strike to regain the lead 24-21 in the third quarter, but the biggest play of the game would come less than two minutes into the fourth quarter. Rivers was driving his team, only to throw an interception that Leonard Johnson returned 83 yards for a touchdown.
It was a crushing blow that the Chargers weren’t able to recover from. The Chargers went into that game one game under .500, while the Bucs were 5-4, quite similar to the game scheduled for this Sunday, in San Diego.
Rivers finished the game with 337 yards passing and three touchdowns while Alexander caught five passes for 134 yards. That still wasn’t enough to overcome the Bucs scoring on special teams and on the defensive side of the ball.
Hopefully, things go much different for the Chargers this time against a team that has only won in San Diego one time in its entire franchise history.
Make sure to stay tuned to Bolt Beat as we will have all the coverage for the game including staff picks and our open thread, where you can chat about the game with fans of the team!