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Odd Plays Lead to Curious Chargers Loss

Ivory coasted past Bolts in highlight-reel play

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Leigh Torrence #24 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates after scoring a touchdown off an interception against the San Diego Chargers at the Louisiana Superdome on August 27, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

    It was a strange, strange night in New Orleans.

    In the Chargers' first road game of the year, three wacky touchdowns overshadowed an overall positive performance Friday, culminating in a 36-21 loss to the defending Super Bowl champion Saints.

    The first head-scratcher came on the Saints' second drive on what Chargers coach Norv Turner described as "an unusual play" that ended up being the difference in the first half.

    Cornerback Antonio Cason ran stride for stride with the Saints' Devery Henderson, one of the league's fastest wide receivers, and was in position for an interception at the near-goal line. Instead, the ball bounced off Cason's hands and ever-so-conveniently into Henderson's for a 46-yard catch, evening the game at 7-7.

    After a well-designed second score, the Saints' third touchdown was the most baffling of the night.

    Saints running back Chris Ivory certainly deserves some credit, but at least one of the seven different Chargers should have been able to tackle the undrafted rookie on this 76-yard reception.

    Props to Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, who gave his best effort to answer the sideline interviewer's question as that play unfolded. Understandably, his answer ended with the word "Wow" in disbelief as Ivory trotted into the end zone.

    With less than 20 seconds left in the game, the final act closed out the Chargers.

    Down by eight, quarterback Billy Volek looked to lead the team to a potentially game-tying scoring drive. He ended up overthrowing his intended receiver, Saints cornerback Leigh Torrence intercepted the pass and — why not? ran it back 87 yards to the house.

    Wow.

    Still, those plays couldn't take away from an otherwise largely postive Chargers road showing.

    "We had a lot of success early and drove the ball well," Gates said. "The offense was clicking and I had a lot of catches in the first half. We accomplished exactly what we had to tonight. Now it’s upon us to study the film and fix what we can before the regular season starts."