CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 28: Defensive end Kendall Reyes #91 of the San Diego Chargers falls on a fumbled ball as he is hit by tight end Alex Smith #81 of the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on October 28, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Those are the best words to describe the Chargers loss to the Cleveland Browns.
The Browns scored one touchdown in the first quarter. That was it.
San Diego did not score at all until the second half. Kicker Nick Novak hit 43 and 31 yard field goals during the second half.
Other than those three plays, the game was sloppy, sloshy, and slow.
Cleveland gave the Chargers a wet welcome, and the rain started before the game and continued all the way through it. This led to a lot more running plays than you would normally see from quarterback Philip Rivers. The play calls were split 34 rushing, 34 passing.
Browns running back Trent Richardson had 24 carries for 122 yards. Chargers running back Ryan Matthews also had 24 carries but for only 95 yards.
On the kickoff to begin the game Chargers returner Richard Goodman was injured, left the game and did not return. Safety and the only Pro-Bowl defensive player Eric Weddle took the rest of the returns, without gloves, for the Bolts.
On their first drive the Browns started at their own 30. 12 plays, 70 yards, and about four and a half minutes later, they had 7 points. The first and last time they would find the end zone, but it was enough to beat the Chargers.
The second quarter was a series of short, unproductive drives for both teams. San Diego did get on the board, thanks to a Novak 43-yard field goal.
The game went to the half with the Chargers trailing Cleveland 7-3.
About six minutes into the third quarter Rivers tried to hit wide receiver Robert Meachem deep down the middle. The ball bounced off Meachem’s chest. Had Meachem caught the ball it would have been wide-open real estate to the end zone. Instead the Chargers were forced to punt.
Novak kicked his second field goal with about three minutes left in the quarter from 31 yards out bringing the Bolts to within a point of the Browns.
Chargers got the ball back with 2:36 left to play and got within 10 yards of Novak’s field goal range, but could not finish.
Final score: Cleveland 7, San Diego 6.
The Bolts drop to 3-4, but will still lead the division if the Broncos lose to the Saints on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
Kansas City comes to the Q on Thursday for a 5:20 P.M. kickoff.