Final

Dolphins 13

(0-3, 0-2 away)

Chargers 23

(2-1, 1-1 home)

Coverage: CBS

4:15 PM ET, September 27, 2009

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA 

1 2 3 4 T
MIA 0 3 3 713
SD 0 3 7 1323

Top Performers

Passing: P. Rivers (SD) - 303 YDS

Rushing: R. Brown (MIA) - 18 CAR, 75 YDS

Receiving: V. Jackson (SD) - 5 REC, 120 YDS

Chargers finally solve Dolphins as Rivers shines with 300 in the air, TD on ground

Associated Press

SAN DIEGO -- After putting his right arm to good use, Philip Rivers proved he has some wheels, too.

Picking up on something he'd seen while watching film during the week, Rivers scored on a 5-yard scramble late in the third quarter Sunday to highlight a 23-13 victory over the winless Miami Dolphins, who lost quarterback Chad Pennington to a shoulder injury early in the second half.

Fast Facts

• The Chargers beat Miami in the regular season for the first time since 1993.

• Sunday was the first time Philip Rivers has thrown for 300 yards without a passing TD.

• The Dolphins are 0-3 for the second time in three seasons.

• Vincent Jackson had his second straight 100-yard game and the fifth of his career.

• Rapid Reaction

-- ESPN Stats & Information

It was just the second rushing touchdown in Rivers' career.

"I'm not used to scoring on the run," said Rivers, who threw for 303 yards a week after setting his career high with 436 yards in a loss against the Baltimore Ravens. He didn't throw a touchdown pass or an interception.

In the shotgun on third-and-goal, Rivers couldn't find a receiver and the pocket collapsed, but a hole opened up the middle so he sprinted into the end zone for a 10-6 lead.

Rivers said the team video staff put together clips of the Dolphins' defense inside the 20-yard line.

"There were two or three that were called quarterback draws and a couple of others that happened just like that. I had that in the back of my mind all week."

Rivers said something to coach Norv Turner about it during the week.

"He said, 'If that thing opens up, I'm going to take off and run,'" Turner said. "I said, 'I hope it's on the 3 more than the 8.'"

Rivers' TD run capped a 75-yard, five-play drive that also included his 47-yard pass to Malcom Floyd and a razzle-dazzle play where Darren Sproles took a handoff and ran right before throwing a backward pass to Rivers, who hit tight end Antonio Gates for 19 yards.

Safety Eric Weddle intercepted Miami backup quarterback Chad Henne and returned it 31 yards for a score with just less than six minutes to play.

The Chargers (2-1) are above .500 in the regular season for the first time since the end of 2007. The Dolphins are 0-3 for the third time in six seasons.

"As I told them in the locker room, you can't put your lip out too long," Miami coach Tony Sparano said.

The often-lackluster game was tied at 3 at halftime. San Diego had to settle for field goals by Nate Kaeding three times after getting inside the Dolphins' 10-yard line.

"We are having significant red zone problems and most of them are self-inflicted," Turner said.

Miami's only touchdown was a 14-yard run by San Diego native Ricky Williams with 2:51 left.

A week after throwing for a career-high 436 yards in a loss to Baltimore, Rivers was 18-of-33 for 303 yards.

Pennington was hit by linebacker Kevin Burnett after throwing an incomplete pass on third-and-7 from the Dolphins 40 on the first possession of the second half. Slow to get up, he took off his helmet and shoulder pads once he got to the sideline and had a bag of ice on his shoulder.

The Dolphins didn't know the extent of the injury.

Pennington, who has a history of shoulder surgeries, said he was in a "state of shock."

"I'm truly disappointed because I know what type of work I've put in and what type of work our team has put in," he said.

The Dolphins ran the wildcat seven times for 42 yards, including three times on their impressive first drive -- which nonetheless resulted in no points.

Miami moved 94 yards in 17 plays and consumed 9:29 on that drive. On second-and-goal from the 1, Ronnie Brown never got a handle on the handoff from Pennington and fumbled the ball into the end zone. Guard Justin Smiley came up with it, but he was touching the end line and it was ruled a touchback.

"It was there," Brown said. "I may have closed down a little bit early. That's just an area we've got to focus on, be better on. That's nothing but fundamentals."

Brown said it was tough watching the ball bounce away.

"To be in a situation where you've been effective and drove the ball down the field 94 yards and to be in a situation where you've got an opportunity to score and you don't take advantage of the opportunity, it's hard," he said.

Rivers then moved the Chargers to the Dolphins' 8, the drive stalled and Kaeding kicked a 25-yard field goal.

Rivers fumbled when he was sacked by Joey Porter midway through the second quarter, with Phillip Merling recovering at the Chargers' 17. Miami had a first-and-goal on the 5, but the Chargers stuffed Brown twice and Dan Carpenter kicked a 24-yard field goal for a 3-all tie.

The Chargers had a first down at the Dolphins' 15 just before halftime, but a personal foul against guard Kris Dielman moved the ball back to the 30. The Chargers gained 8 yards in three plays and Kaeding was wide right on a 41-yard field goal attempt.

Game notes


Porter left in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury and didn't return. ... Chargers OLB Shawne Merriman was forced out early in the third quarter with a groin injury sustained a week earlier in a loss to Baltimore. ... The Chargers have a winning record after three games for just the second time in seven seasons.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
MIA
SD
1st Downs1919
Passing 1st downs
715
Rushing 1st downs
122
1st downs from penalties
02
3rd down efficiency
5-127-14
4th down efficiency
1-10-1
Total Plays6363
Total Yards289355
Yards per play4.65.6
Total Drives109
Passing140286
Comp-Att
18-3118-33
Yards per pass
4.48.2
Interceptions thrown
10
Sacks-Yards Lost
1-62-17
Rushing14969
Rushing Attempts
3128
Yards per rush
4.82.5
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-41-6
Penalties7-393-20
Turnovers21
Fumbles lost
11
Interceptions thrown
10
Defensive / Special Teams TDs01
Possession32:2727:33

Passing Leaders

MIAC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Henne10/19924.8011-6
Pennington8/12544.5000-0
SDC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Rivers18/333039.2002-17

Rushing Leaders

MIACARYDSAVGTDLG
Brown18754.2012
Williams8556.9114
SDCARYDSAVGTDLG
Sproles18412.308
Bennett8182.309

Receiving Leaders

MIARECYDSAVGTDLG
Bess7547.7014
Brown34013.3027
SDRECYDSAVGTDLG
Jackson512024.0055
Floyd26532.5047

Scoring Summary

SECOND QUARTERMIASD
sdFG9:24Nate Kaeding 25 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 14 plays, 72 yds, 6:58
03
miaFG3:29Dan Carpenter 24 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 6 plays, 11 yds, 3:29
33
THIRD QUARTERMIASD
miaFG4:11Dan Carpenter 23 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 12 plays, 44 yds, 7:03
63
sdTD2:07Philip Rivers 5 Yard Run (Nate Kaeding Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 75 yds, 2:07
610
FOURTH QUARTERMIASD
sdFG12:33Nate Kaeding 23 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 5 plays, 63 yds, 2:16
613
sdFG6:54Nate Kaeding 26 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 11 plays, 41 yds, 4:58
616
sdTD5:53Eric Weddle 31 Yard Interception Return (Nate Kaeding Kick is Good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 11 yds, 1:08
623
miaTD2:57Ricky Williams 14 Yard Run (Dan Carpenter Kick is Good)
Drive info: 10 plays, 76 yds, 2:54
1323