Chargers Win on Thanksgiving

Bolts beat Cowboys for 1st Turkey Day win since 1969

Kickers might want to stop coming to Dallas to play the Cowboys.

A week ago the Eagles lost their kicker to injury but still found a way to beat up on the ‘Boys 37-9. In the first quarter of their first Thanksgiving Day game since 1969 the Chargers lost kicker Nick Novak to a back injury. Much like Philly, the Chargers had plenty of offensive firepower to overcome it, shaking loose for 25 points in the second half of a 28-6 Thanksgiving Day win over the Cowboys in Dallas.

Novak missed a 35-yard field goal try in the first quarter and did not look right after the kick. It was his first miss from inside 40 yards since the 2014 season. The Chargers considered having punter Drew Kaser handle the field goals. Video captured him practicing kicking into a net on the sideline.

Well, he tried kicking into the net but missed the whole thing. Perhaps the coaches saw that and decided to simply stop trying. The Bolts got down to the Cowboys 17-yard-line and instead of trying another 35-yarder with Kaser they went for it on 4th and 13. Philip Rivers found Austin Ekeler for 12 yards and the Bolts turned it over on downs.

Novak would eventually come out and hit a 22-yarder for the only points of the first half.

The Dallas offense got franchise left tackle Tyron Smith back from an injury. The Cowboys had struggled to put points on the board with him out for two games but not even his presence could help. Quarterback Dak Prescott was sacked twice and the Cowboys only mustered 84 yards of total offense.

In the 3rd quarter the Chargers got things going. Rivers led TD drives of 77 yards and 92 yards, finding Hunter Henry and Keenan Allen for touchdowns. Novak missed the extra point on one so Kaser came on to try on the next and made it to make it 16-0 Bolts.

In the 4th quarter the Cowboys finally got in the end zone. Rod Smith scored from two yards out but the 2-point conversion try to cut the lead in half was no good. The score snapped a streak of 10 straight quarters the Cowboys had not scored a TD.

Rivers answered immediately. On the next drive he found Allen again then watched his wideout make multiple tacklers miss on his way to a 42-yard touchdown and a 22-6 lead because Kaser missed another PAT.

Right when it looked like the Cowboys would keep it interesting Prescott held the ball a little too long, tried to throw one along the sideline and rookie Desmond King jumped the route. 90 yards later King was in the end zone to pump the lead up to 28-6 because, yes, Kaser missed ANOTHER PAT.

The game was all but put away when Casey Hayward picked off his 4th pass of the season. Hayward was also instrumental in holding Pro Bowl WR Dez Bryant to three catches for 37 yards. Bryant was not even targeted in the first half of the game.

The Chargers improve to 5-6 and are currently just a half game out of the last AFC Wild Card spot, a position that is sure to be altered one way or another depending on what happens over the weekend.

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