The Los Angeles Chargers were able to defeat the Tennessee Titans in London, but it didn’t come easily.
Fans had to wake up extra early Sunday morning to see their Bolts play the Titans in Wembley Stadium, and in the first half, it seemed Philip Rivers and company were going to cruise to victory.
Melvin Gordon ended up missing the game due to a hamstring injury, but the Chargers got enough out of the running game to hold on for the win.
The Titans took the opening kickoff and went on an 11-play drive that culminated in a 28-yard field goal. But on the Chargers’ first offensive play, Rivers found Tyrell Williams for a 75-yard touchdown.
After the teams traded field goals and punts, the Chargers led 10-6 when the Titans went on a time-consuming drive to close out the first half. With 1st-and-goal from the Chargers’ 10-yard line, Mariota had a pass deflected by Melvin Ingram and it landed in the waiting arms of Denzel Perryman.
It was one of the game’s biggest plays and it also marked the first time that Mariota has ever thrown an interception in the red zone.
The Chargers then started the second half the same way they started the first. This time, Rivers found Mike Williams on a well designed play for a 55-yard touchdown. Suddenly, it was 17-6 and the Chargers were going to route the Titans, right?
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Instead, the Titans hung tough and dominated time of possession again by running the ball effectively and converting short third downs. With just about 30 seconds remaining in the game, Mariota found Luke Stocker for a 1-yard touchdown to make it 20-19.
Titans head coach Mike Vrabel has already made a name for himself as a bit of a gambler, and instead of kicking the extra point to tie the game, he decided to go for two. Casey Hayward was flagged for holding on the first attempt, giving the Titans another shot from the 1-yard line. The play they called didn’t even come close to working and the Chargers got out of Wembley with a 1-point win.
The Chargers keep pace with the Kansas City Chiefs in the division. The Chiefs face the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday Night Football. The Chargers will have their bye next week before heading to Seattle to face the Seahawks in Week 9.