2014 DRAFT GUIDE
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

Paul RichardsonMar 26 12:43a

Seattle Seahawks WR Paul Richardson (knee) might not be ready for the start of the season, head coach Pete Carroll indicated Wednesday, March 25. Carroll did say Richardson's rehab [ More ]

Blake BortlesMar 25 08:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles received an endorsement from head coach Gus Bradley Tuesday, March 24. Speaking at the AFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Annual Meetings Tuesday, Bradley [ More ]

Travis KelceMar 25 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce played at roughly 250 pounds in 2014, but head coach Andy Reid wants Kelce to report bigger in 2015, and Reid thinks Kelce [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 25 05:03p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota isn't an option for the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, according to head coach Sean Payton. Payton said [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 04:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is wanted back in Minnesota, but the question is if Peterson wants to come back. Head coach Mike Zimmer said he doesn't believe Peterson [ More ]

Ifeanyi MomahMar 25 03:13p

Free-agent TE Ifeanyi Momah (Lions) signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday, March 25. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Terence NewmanMar 25 01:53p

Free-agent CB Terence Newman (Bengals) agreed to a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings Wednesday, March 25, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jordy NelsonMar 25 12:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Victor CruzMar 25 11:53a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) could miss the start of the 2015 season with a torn patellar tendon in his knee, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. [ More ]

Josh HillMar 25 11:03a

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is expected to have a bigger role in the offense in 2015. Head coach Sean Payton has mentioned him quite a bit since [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 10:53a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is disgruntled and reportedly wants out of Minnesota, but head coach Mike Zimmer said the team has no plans to trade him.

Cody LatimerMar 24 09:33p

The Denver Broncos plan to use WR Cody Latimer as the third receiver behind WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in 2015. 'I think it's time for him to [ More ]

Casey MatthewsMar 24 06:32p

Free-agent LB Casey Matthews (Eagles) agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings Tuesday, March 24. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

R. Griffin IIIMar 24 04:42p

Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan said that the team will go with the best player available in the 2015 NFL Draft with the No. 5 overall pick, which [ More ]

Michael CrabtreeMar 24 03:02p

Free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) is having a hard time being signed this offseason, reportedly due to concerns regarding lower-leg injuries and a negative perception about his attitude.

Ray McDonaldMar 24 02:02p

Free-agent DE Ray McDonald (49ers) is signing an undisclosed deal with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 24.

Stephen BowenMar 24 01:32p

Free-agent DE Stephen Bowen (Redskins) is signing an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Tuesday, March 24.

Geno SmithMar 24 01:22p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith will be the starting quarterback ahead of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick entering training camp this summer, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. 'You [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerMar 24 01:12p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota is a realistic option for the Tennessee Titans with the second overall selection in this year's NFL Draft, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt is impressed [ More ]

Jarvis JenkinsMar 24 10:42a

Free-agent DE Jarvis Jenkins (Redskins) agreed with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 24, on a one-year deal.

Johnny ManzielMar 24 08:52a

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel is expected back with the team for offseason workouts April 20 after completing more than two months of treatment.

Adrian PetersonMar 23 07:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, said Monday, March 23, that he doesn't think 'it's in Adrian's best interest to play in Minnesota' in 2015 and beyond. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 23 06:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is expected to be part of the Vikings next season, according to general manager Rick Spielman. 'Adrian's a member of our football team,' Spielman [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 23 01:22p

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees will not be traded, according to general manager Mickey Loomis. Recent speculation said that Brees may be on the trade block after his [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 23 12:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's preference is to play elsewhere than with the Vikings in 2015, according to a league source. He is under contract through the 2017 season [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 22 08:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's future remains unclear, but head coach Mike Zimmer recently said that the Vikings are 'excited' to have him back. Zimmer had previously said that [ More ]

James HarrisonMar 22 12:42p

Free-agent LB James Harrison (Steelers) signed a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, March 22. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Branden OliverMar 21 03:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Branden Oliver is penciled in as the starting running back at this point.

EJ ManuelMar 21 12:52a

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel is not locked in as the starting quarterback. Head coach Rex Ryan said Friday, March 20, that the quarterback competition will be open. 'It's [ More ]

Kevin VickersonMar 20 05:52p

Free-agent DT Kevin Vickerson (Chiefs) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Friday, March 20.

Matt MooreMar 20 04:32p

Free-agent QB Matt Moore (Dolphins) re-signed with the Miami Dolphins Friday, March 20. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonMar 20 02:42p

Updating an ongoing story, Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is clearly wanted back by the organization, and general manager Rick Spielman once again stressed that they will make every [ 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