Chargers lose 31-28 to Houston in McCoy's debut

By GREG BEACHAM - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-10 02:36

SAN DIEGO (AP) - The first 15 seconds of Mike McCoy's head coaching debut were just about perfect.

The final 15 minutes or so were a perfect example of everything he's got to fix about the San Diego Chargers.

Randy Bullock kicked a 41-yard field goal as time expired, and the Houston Texans rallied from a 21-point deficit in the second half for a 31-28 victory over the Chargers on Monday night.

``This was a tough one, obviously,'' McCoy said. ``When you play a good team like the Houston Texans, you have an opportunity when you're up 28-7. You have to put the game away.''

The Chargers led 7-0 just 15 seconds into McCoy's first game, intercepting Houston's first pass and throwing a TD pass on their first offensive snap. Philip Rivers threw four touchdown passes in a tantalizing start in the system run by McCoy, the offensive guru hired away from division rival Denver to revitalize a stagnant franchise.

San Diego was three touchdowns ahead after the opening series of the third quarter, and led by 14 points heading to the fourth. But everything came unraveled as a team that blew five halftime leads last season did it again, with Matt Schaub and the Texans' veteran defense taking control in the fourth quarter.

Welcome to San Diego, coach.

``The effort was there,'' McCoy said. ``They did a nice job. We just didn't finish it. It comes down to not finishing a football game.''

Ryan Mathews caught a 14-yard TD pass on San Diego's first snap, while Eddie Royal made two TD catches and Vincent Brown had another for the Chargers. But the Texans shut out San Diego over the final 25 minutes, with Brian Cushing returning an interception 18 yards for his first NFL touchdown with 9:30 to play, and Schaub engineered the final 36-yard drive to set up Bullock, who coolly nailed his first NFL field goal.

Plenty of fans were reminded of last season's lowlight, when San Diego blew a 24-0 halftime lead in its last Monday night game against McCoy's Broncos last October.

``You lose this way, and it stings a little more,'' Rivers said. ``It's disappointing we didn't finish the game, because we had control. You've got to play all four quarters.''

After two straight division titles and playoff trips, the Texans have ample experience in handling trouble together. Schaub provided steady leadership, and their vaunted defense held San Diego to 90 yards - just 7 on the ground - in the second half.

``There was no doubt in my mind that we were going to win that game,'' said Andre Johnson, who had 12 catches for 146 yards. ``Even in the third quarter, we didn't come out playing that great, but we got it together and made it happen.''

While the Chargers showed promise, the Texans began a season of Super Bowl aspirations with a gritty comeback befitting a defending two-time AFC South champion club that got off to an 11-1 start last season.

Schaub recovered from that tipped interception to throw three TD passes - two to tight end Owen Daniels - in the final game of the NFL's opening weekend.

``Once you put a score on the board, then another, and the defense gets a stop, the big turnover, it just builds,'' said Schaub, who bounced back from an interception on Houston's first play to pass for 346 yards. ``Momentum keeps building, and you can feel that energy, and it's contagious.''

McCoy was hired to jump-start a team that has missed the playoffs for three straight years, leading to the dismissal of Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith after the Chargers' first losing season since 2003.

Rivers looked comfortable early on in McCoy's latest version of an offense that was tweaked for Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning in Denver in the past few seasons. Rivers took most of his snaps in a shotgun, and San Diego used short drops and quick routes to keep Rivers out of trouble after he took 49 sacks last season.

But Cushing came up big in his first game since missing most of last season with a knee injury and then signing a six-year, $55.6 million extension last week. Rivers' under-pressure throw was snagged by Cushing, who got up from his diving catch and rumbled into the end zone.

Schaub's first pass was tipped into the air by Jarret Johnson, and 330-pound defensive tackle Cam Thomas gathered it in. The San Diego crowd was still cheering when Rivers threw down the Houston sideline to Mathews, who dived in for a score.

``We've just got to keep the pedal down,'' Mathews said. ``You can see we can put up points, and our defense is looking great.''


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Doug BaldwinNov 25 07:43p

Seattle Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin (ankle) did not take part in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Tyrod TaylorNov 25 07:23p

Updating a previous report, Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor (shoulder) said he will play in Week 12 against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Malcom FloydNov 25 06:53p

San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates (hip) and WR Malcom Floyd (shoulder) were limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Case KeenumNov 25 06:43p

St. Louis Rams QB Case Keenum (concussion) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Dexter McClusterNov 25 06:33p

Tennessee Titans RB Dexter McCluster (knee) did not take part in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Kendall WrightNov 25 06:33p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (knee) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Mark IngramNov 25 06:23p

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram's (shoulder) injury isn't expected to be a major concern after resting last week during the bye. It's unclear, however, if his shoulder injury [ More ]

Andrew LuckNov 25 06:23p

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck (abdomen, kidney) is confident that he will play again this year, but a timetable for his return at this point is tough to gauge. [ More ]

Leonard HankersonNov 25 06:13p

Atlanta Falcons WR Leonard Hankerson (hamstring) is still bothered by a hamstring strain, and the Falcons may continue to take their time with his injury. Hankerson previously missed two [ More ]

A. Seferian-JenkinsNov 25 06:03p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (shoulder) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Stedman BaileyNov 25 05:53p

St. Louis Rams WR Stedman Bailey (head) is out of surgery and will be in an intensive care unit for 3-5 days. Doctors are hopeful he will make a successful recovery.

Danny AmendolaNov 25 04:43p

New England Patriots WRs Julian Edelman (foot), Danny Amendola (knee) and Aaron Dobson (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Glenn DorseyNov 25 04:33p

San Francisco 49ers DT Glenn Dorsey (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Nov. 25, after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Week 11.

Marshawn LynchNov 25 03:53p

Updating a previous report, Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (hernia) will return in three to four weeks after undergoing sports hernia surgery Wednesday, Nov. 25, but he could be [ More ]

Matt ForteNov 25 03:33p

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte (knee) and WR Alshon Jeffery (groin, shoulder) are both listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Green Bay Packers Thursday, Nov. 26.

John BrownNov 25 03:13p

Arizona Cardinals WR John Brown (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Martellus BennettNov 25 02:53p

Chicago Bears TE Martellus Bennett (ribs) has been ruled out for Week 12 Thursday, Nov. 26.

Michael FloydNov 25 02:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Michael Floyd (hamstring) is practicing Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Emmanuel SandersNov 25 02:23p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (ankle) is practicing Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Charcandrick WestNov 25 02:03p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Charcandrick West (hamstring) is out of practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Johnny ManzielNov 25 01:33p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel's tenure with the Browns may not be over, according to head coach Mike Pettine. 'I certainly hope not,' Pettine said, when asked if Manziel [ More ]

Marshawn LynchNov 25 01:23p

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (hernia) underwent successful sports hernia surgery Wednesday, Nov. 25, according to a source. The hope is that Lynch can return in late December.

Christian PonderNov 25 01:03p

Updating a previous item, free-agent QB Christian Ponder (Raiders) signed with the Denver Broncos Wednesday, Nov. 25, according to a source. Ponder will start out as the team's No. [ More ]

Zach ErtzNov 25 12:53p

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz (concussion) is officially out for Week 12 Thursday, Nov. 26.

Ryan MathewsNov 25 12:53p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Ryan Mathews (concussion) is officially out for Week 12 Thursday, Nov. 26.

Sam BradfordNov 25 12:53p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (concussion, shoulder) is a long shot to play Thursday, Nov. 26, against the Detroit Lions. He practiced fully Wednesday, Nov. 25, and is questionable for Week 12.

Tyrod TaylorNov 25 12:43p

Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor (shoulder) is feeling better and likely to play in Week 12, according to head coach Rex Ryan. 'I think Tyrod is going to play,' [ More ]

Devonta FreemanNov 25 12:33p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (concussion) is still in the first phase of the concussion protocol and won't practice Wednesday, Nov. 25, according to head coach Dan Quinn.

Marcus ThigpenNov 25 12:23p

Buffalo Bills RB Dan Herron and WR Denarius Moore were cut Wednesday, Nov. 25. WR Marcus Thigpen was re-signed by the Bills.

Christian PonderNov 25 12:23p

Free-agent QB Christian Ponder (Raiders) will sign with the Denver Broncos, according to a source. He'll be the No. 3 quarterback.

Frank GoreNov 25 11:43a

Indianapolis Colts RB Frank Gore (knee) is out of practice Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Joseph RandleNov 25 10:43a

Free-agent RB Joseph Randle (Cowboys) was arrested Tuesday, Nov. 24, in a Kansas casino on charges including felony criminal threats, misdemeanor assault of a law enforcement officer, interference with [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
Player Notes:
Forum Posts:

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group