The Los Angeles Chargers are hoping to translate the good cheer of the holidays into a 2017 playoff spot. On Christmas Eve, they did their part to help make that dream a reality.
Tight end Antonio Gates caught six passes for 81 yards — including his 87th touchdown reception from quarterback Philip Rivers. As they have done so many times before, Rivers and Gates led the Chargers over the New York Jets 14-7 Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
Running back Melvin Gordon had 128 total yards and a touchdown. Gordon also surpassed 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his NFL career. Rivers finished 22-of-40 for 290 yards and a touchdown.
After a scoreless first quarter that included three Los Angeles punts, the Chargers opened the second with their tried-and-true duo. Rivers found Gates for a 27-yard reception, the future Hall of Famer’s longest catch of the season. Four plays later, the two connected in the end zone for a three-yard touchdown to give the Bolts a 7-0.
New Chargers Kicker Nick Rose missed a 47-yard field goal on the Chargers’ opening possession of the second half. Three plays later, Jets running back Bilal Powell rushed 57 yards for a touchdown. This tied the score at 7-7.
Los Angeles responded with an eight-play, 75-yard drive. It was capped by a one-yard touchdown rush by Gordon. The Chargers led 14-7 after the third quarter and would go on to win by that same score.
The Chargers forced three turnovers and held Jets quarterback Bryce Petty to 119 yards passing.
Los Angeles was turnover-free on Sunday, after committing four turnovers last Saturday in Kansas City.
Chargers rookie defensive end Isaac Rochell earned the first sack of his career.
Rivers passed John Elway for eighth-most completions in league history (4,124).
The Chargers close the regular season on Sunday, Dec. 31st against the Oakland Raiders at StubHub Center. Kickoff is at 1:25 p.m. Pacific on CBS.
–Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and National Columnist for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Chargers. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC