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Brees Outplays The Chargers and Unitas
What’s more frustrating than standing next to an obnoxious Saints fan as the Chargers hand the game over to a former San Diego quarterback? Oh yes, watching the San Diego defense hand over a 10 point lead to said Saints quarterback, Drew Brees. It was 24-14, 3 minutes to go in the third quarter, San Diego was sitting smug and then Melvin Ingram knocked over the first domino of disaster with a penalty. Following, Brees threw two more, yes he already had thrown two at this point, TD passes and led another drive, resulting in a field goal.
Now imagine what it must feel like to see a former quarterback, who San Diego sent walking for Philip Rivers, break a 52 year record set by Johnny Unitas for consecutive games with a TD pass (48). Needless to say Rivers did not look happy. 7-0, the Chargers blitzed at their 40, but Brees stepped into the pocket and found wide receiver Devery Henderson, bringing the game to 7-7.
The Saints took the lead in the second quarter with a second TD, but with 2 minutes left, Corey Liuget sacked Brees. The Saints punted, and the Chargers got the ball resulting in a 17-14 lead. The momentum kept going for the Chargers leading into the second half, when Brees’ first pass was intercepted by Jammer at the New Orleans 34, securing their lead at 24-14.
So how did the Chargers lose when they had a 10 point lead? I sat there in disbelief asking myself the same question. Some may blame it on the calls and lack there of, which is a valid argument, however that’s not an acceptable excuse. San Diego’s defense has proven to fold against elite quarterbacks. They did against Atlanta and they did it again last night. With 11 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Brees sent Marques Colston for a 16-yard TD pass, closing the gap to 24-21. After the Chargers punted, the Saints covered 90 yards in 9 plays, taking the lead 28-24. Shortly after, a 4 point lead grew to a 7 point lead when the Saints made a final field goal after the ball bounced off of Malcom Jenkins and snatched up by Roman Harper.
At this point there was still a chance, and a good chance at that, for overtime. But yellow flags were raining; Rivers found Antonio Gates for a 28-yard pass, flag thrown, and Gates was called for interference. Try again. Rivers found Floyd for a 23-yard pass, reaching the 39 yard line, and again a flag was thrown, and Nick Hardwick was called for holding. Blood vessels were bursting at this point. Finally the Chargers hammered the final nail when Rivers fumbled after being sacked by Martez Wilson.
The Chargers still remain in first of the AFC West, however they could have used a little cushion as their schedule is getting progressively more difficult. Chargers (3-2) face the Denver Broncos (2-3) on Monday night. A victory ensures they remain in first atop the AFC West.
Written By: Alicia Kovacs