Final/OT

Chargers 23

(8-5, 3-4 away)

Titans 17

(7-6, 4-3 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, December 9, 2007

LP Field, Nashville, TN 

1 2 3 4 OT T
SD 0 0 3 14 623
TEN 3 0 7 7 017

Top Performers

Passing: P. Rivers (SD) - 228 YDS, 2 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: L. Tomlinson (SD) - 26 CAR, 146 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: C. Chambers (SD) - 4 REC, 90 YDS

Tomlinson's overtime TD caps Chargers comeback vs. Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- LaDainian Tomlinson wanted to eliminate all the risks of trying a field goal in overtime.

So he took the ball, cut to his left and outran everyone on a 16-yard touchdown run with 7:29 left in overtime, finishing off the Chargers' rally from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Tennessee Titans 23-17 on Sunday.

More TDs for LT
LaDainian Tomlinson
LaDainian Tomlinson's two touchdowns against the Titans on Sunday gave him 125 for his career, tying Walter Payton for eighth on the NFL's all-time list.
Player
TDs
Jerry Rice208
Emmitt Smith175
Marcus Allen145
Marshall Faulk136
Cris Carter131
Terrell Owens130
Jim Brown126
Walter Payton125
L. Tomlinson125

"Anything can happen with a field goal," Tomlinson said.

The Chargers (8-5) won their third straight and seventh in nine games and are two games ahead of Denver in the AFC West title race.

"To come in here and get a win is really, really big for our guys," San Diego coach Norv Turner said. "And then the way we did it, I think the key for our football team today was we fought hard."

The Chargers won a physical game in which linebacker Shawne Merriman got two sacks early in the first half, then spent the rest of the day sidelined by an injured left knee. Tight end Antonio Gates hurt his back and returned to catch the game-tying touchdown.

Philip Rivers, intercepted twice, hurt his left knee in the first half and returned to finish the game wearing a brace.

"He went out there and gave us everything he had," Merriman said. "He wasn't 100 percent. You could see it. He was limping around all the time, still went out and fought for us."

Rivers, the Alabama native with lots of family and friends in the stands, had 37 yards passing through three quarters. He led the rally by throwing two TD passes in the final 7:29 -- the last with 9 seconds left.

"He kept getting up," said Titans defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, who had three of Tennessee's five sacks. "He stayed after it. Especially after the fourth quarter. We knocked him down a couple times. I had him wrapped up once and he was able to get the pass off. He showed a lot of resolve at the end of the game."

Tennessee (7-6) had a chance to run out the clock in a game the Titans desperately needed to stay close to Cleveland and Jacksonville in the chase for the AFC's two wild card berths. But they gave the ball back to San Diego with 2:24 left in regulation, then went three-and-out in overtime.

The loss wasted a strong performance by the Tennessee defense, which had three interceptions. But the Titans couldn't get close enough to Rivers when it mattered as he tossed a 7-yard TD to Tomlinson with 7:29 left to cap a 92-second drive.

"It was as physical a game as I've been in," Rivers said. "That's the way it goes. I didn't feel like I was running for my life."

San Diego had the ball for 27 of the game's final 30 offensive plays. Before the game-tying drive, the Chargers had 166 yards of offense and 10 first downs. They gained 175 yards between the final 2:24 of regulation and overtime.

On the final drive of regulation, Rivers moved the Chargers 80 yards in 2:15. The big play came on fourth-and-5, a 20-yard pass to Chris Chambers, who stretched out and tried to get his arms under the ball to scoop it away from the ground.

The Titans thought the ball hit the turf. It was reviewed, but referee Bill Carollo ruled there wasn't indisputable evidence that the ball came out.

Turner called it as good a catch as anyone would see. Chambers said he was lucky there wasn't enough evidence to reverse the call.

"I made sure the ball was in my arms as I got up," he said.

Titans coach Jeff Fisher, who called this a disappointing loss, wasn't happy.

"I saw the ball on the ground. That happens. He just didn't get the look that he wanted," Fisher said.

In overtime, the Titans forced the Chargers to punt. But San Diego pinned Tennessee at its 2 when Kassim Osgood stopped the ball from going into the end zone, flipping it to Antonio Cromartie, who downed it.

The Titans ran twice, then Young threw incomplete.

That gave Tomlinson another chance. He ran on four of the six plays, the last his sprint out to the left and into the end zone to finish off the comeback. He wound up with 26 carries for 146 yards.

Game notes


Cromartie's interception tied a Chargers record. Charlie McNiel also had nine interceptions in 1961. ... Tomlinson got his 42nd 100-yard rushing performance of his career. ... Rivers now has 20 combined turnovers by himself. ... San Diego fullback Lorenzo Neal hopped off the field and was taken to the locker room for X-rays on his right leg. ... Titans left guard Jacob Bell will have tests for what team officials called a "burner," a neck injury resulting in tingling or burning. He returned in the second half in street clothes and was replaced by Eugene Amano. ... The Titans now are 22-7 against teams making their first trip to LP Field. ... Titans kicker Rob Bironas, who came in 18-of-19 inside the 40, missed a 29-yard attempt wide left.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
SD
TEN
1st Downs2013
Passing 1st downs
146
Rushing 1st downs
67
1st downs from penalties
00
3rd down efficiency
6-186-17
4th down efficiency
1-10-0
Total Plays7763
Total Yards341240
Yards per play4.43.8
Total Drives1714
Passing193109
Comp-Att
21-4214-24
Yards per pass
4.14.2
Interceptions thrown
32
Sacks-Yards Lost
5-352-10
Rushing148131
Rushing Attempts
3037
Yards per rush
4.93.5
Red Zone (Made-Att)3-42-3
Penalties4-304-21
Turnovers32
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
32
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession31:1836:13

Passing Leaders

SDC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Rivers21/402285.7224-28
Volek0/200.0011-7
TENC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Young13/211215.8021-5
Collins1/3-2-0.7001-5

Rushing Leaders

SDCARYDSAVGTDLG
Tomlinson261465.6132
Rivers122.002
TENCARYDSAVGTDLG
White301133.8125
Brown5163.217

Receiving Leaders

SDRECYDSAVGTDLG
Chambers49022.5028
Gates6579.5117
TENRECYDSAVGTDLG
Williams33010.0017
White22412.0015

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERSDTEN
tenFG5:23Rob Bironas 44 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, 3 yds, 1:59
03
THIRD QUARTERSDTEN
sdFG11:47Nate Kaeding 20 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 5 plays, 39 yds, 2:00
33
tenTD5:24Chris Brown, 7 yd run (Rob Bironas kick is good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 19 yds, 2:00
310
FOURTH QUARTERSDTEN
tenTD14:24LenDale White, 7 yd run (Rob Bironas kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 42 yds, 4:06
317
sdTD7:35LaDainian Tomlinson, 7 yd pass from Philip Rivers (Nate Kaeding kick is good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 48 yds, 1:32
1017
sdTD0:13Antonio Gates, 2 yd pass from Philip Rivers (Nate Kaeding kick is good)
Drive info: 14 plays, 80 yds, 2:15
1717
OVERTIMESDTEN
sdTD7:35LaDainian Tomlinson, 16 yd run
Drive info: 6 plays, 48 yds, 3:15
2317