The Los Angeles Chargers overcame terrible kicking (again) to win a tough road game over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 9.
How much worse can this kicking game get? More on that later but first, let’s focus on the positives. Philip Rivers became just the fourth quarterback in NFL history to start 200 consecutive games on Sunday, joining a list that includes the Manning brothers and Brett Favre.
Once considered one of the toughest places in the league to get a win, the Chargers went into Seattle and beat the Seahawks 25-17, though it didn’t come without some drama.
The Chargers seemed to be in command for most of the game as Rivers threw two touchdown passes and Melvin Gordon cracked the 100-yard rushing mark while adding a 34-yard touchdown.
However, what was ultimately the game’s biggest play came late in the fourth quarter and was made by the defense. Trailing 19-10 with just under seven minutes to play, Russell Wilson had his pass intercepted by Desmond King who returned it 42 yards for a touchdown to put the Chargers up 25-10. It wasn’t 26-10 because Caleb Sturgus missed the extra point.
Undeterred, Wilson brought his team back down the field and found Nick Vannett for a 6-yard touchdown pass with just under two minutes to play. The Chargers then went three-and-out on their next possession and Wilson had another chance.
The table was set. The Seahawks would need a touchdown and a two-point conversion, but Wilson seemed up to the task as he took the Seahawks down the field and then on the last play of the game, a pass interference penalty against the Chargers would lead to an untimed down from the 1-yard line.
Wilson found David Moore in the back of the end zone but the ball, which replays would show was tipped, hit him right in the chest and fell to the ground. The Chargers had escaped with their sixth win of the year.
But it wouldn’t have been that close if the Chargers could ever find a kicker who can regularly make kicks. Sturgis might be the worst of the bad bunch they’ve had over the last two seasons, and that’s saying something.
Sturgis missed two extra points and a 42-yard field goal in this one and cameras showed Rivers on more than one occasion just shaking his head in the direction of Sturgis.
This kicking situation can no longer be tolerated. The excuses are out the window. The Chargers need to find a solution before he costs them an important game.