NASHVILLE – Right now the Chargers’ MVP candidate quarterback is the difference in this game. That play he made for the second touchdown was about as good as it gets. Vince Young, meantime, is struggling.
First, Philip Rivers was able to hang in the pocket as long as it made sense, then avoid the pass rush, keep his feet and head up field, with his eyes still focused downfield. When he found TE Antonio Gates wide open on what should have already been a sack, he was being tripped, but managed to throw a perfect strike to Gates as he was going to the ground. Oh yeah, and Rivers has the spacial awareness to get rid of the ball just before crossing the line of scrimmage. That’s a special play.
Rivers opens the game 10-14 for 120 yards and a TD. It looks like Nick Harper is going to have trouble with Vincent Jackson all game. And the Titans are going to have to end up throwing the ball a heck of a lot more than they anticipated, trailing 14-3. Tennessee’s penalties on defense have been game-changing, and that coupled with two first-half turnovers is more help than the Chargers need.
Young has had a rough night. His interception — he never seemed to see linebacker Brandon Siler come under the route — came at a critical time, and then, with Chris Johnson getting going again, he fumbled while trying to slide going for a first-down run. Ouch. Looking like game, set, match here, not only for this contest, but for the Titans’ slim playoff hopes.