Chargers Fumble Away a Win in Nashville

Melvin Gordon gets stripped at the goal line on what would have been a game-winning TD

In 2018 the Chargers played 18 games (including playoffs) and lost five of them. In 2019 the Chargers have played seven games and lost five of them.

But the way they lost 23-20 to the Titans in Nashville on Sunday might be the worst loss yet.

The Bolts had a chance to walk off with a win, getting the ball at the Titans 1-yard-line with 39 seconds left ... but when the ball ended up in the end zone Tennessee was holding it for a game-ending turnover. But what happened leading up to that play was kind of crazy.

Leading 23-20 Titans head coach Mike Vrabel decided to go for it on 4th and 1 with 2:39 to play at midfield but Joey Bosa, who had two sacks, stood up Ryan Tannehill on a quarterback sneak to give the Bolts the ball at their own 49 yard line.

Philip Rivers moved the Chargers into the red zone and hit Austin Ekeler for what was called a 16-yard touchdown but replay overturned it, saying he was down short of the goal line. On 1st and goal at the 1 guard Dan Feeney was called for a false start but the Bolts got those five yards back on the next play when Mike Williams drew a pass interference penalty in the end zone.

So on 1st and goal at the 1 with 34 seconds left Melvin Gordon looked like he scored but replay again overturned it, saying he was down short of the goal line.

So on 2nd and goal from inside the 1 Gordon got the call again and was ruled down short of the goal line but replay overturned it, saying Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard had knocked the ball loose and Jurrell Casey recovered for a touchback in a wild ending that dropped the Chargers to 2-5 on the year.

The running game was a problem, only gaining 39 yards for the game, so Rivers had to pick up the slack. He threw for 329 yards and two touchdowns with no turnovers.

But his defense allowed Tennessee backup Ryan Tannehill, getting the start for an ineffective Marcus Mariota, to throw for 312 yards and two touchdowns with one pick (the first of rookie Roderick Teamer's career). It was the first 300-yard game for Tannehill since September of 2016.

The Chargers have another road trip next week when they head to Chicago. They've fallen three games behind the Chiefs in the West and 13th place in the AFC overall, meaning seven teams are between them and a Wild Card spot. At nearly the midway point of the season they cannot claim "well it's still early" anymore.

A loss to the Bears could mean the end of their playoff hopes before Halloween arrives.

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