Final

Dolphins 16

(0-4, 0-2 away)

Chargers 26

(3-1, 3-0 home)

Coverage: CBS

4:15 PM ET, October 2, 2011

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA 

1 2 3 4 T
MIA 7 3 3 316
SD 7 6 10 326

Top Performers

Passing: P. Rivers (SD) - 307 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: R. Mathews (SD) - 16 CAR, 81 YDS

Receiving: V. Jackson (SD) - 3 REC, 108 YDS, 1 TD

Philip Rivers shines for Chargers while Chad Henne exits for Dolphins

Associated Press

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Chargers are 3-1 for the first time in five seasons under Norv Turner, and they've done it with workmanlike performances rather than a lot of flash and dash.

Philip Rivers was 21 of 31 for 307 yards and one touchdown, Mike Tolbert ran for another score and the Chargers knocked out Miami quarterback Chad Henne on the way to beating the winless Dolphins 26-16 on Sunday.

The Chargers have a one-game lead in the AFC West over Oakland, which lost to New England.

"Everybody seems to think we can't start fast," Tolbert said. "But no matter how we win, how ugly it is, we're 3-1. We're on a good pace right now. We're trying to keep momentum going."

It's a big change from Turner's first four seasons, when slow starts agitated the fans. The Bolts were 1-3 in Turner's first season, 2007, then had three straight 2-2 starts.

"The only thing faster would be 4-0," Rivers said. "It's a little faster than it has been around here. It's usually a flip of 3-1."

Said Tolbert: "As long as you win, the style points really don't count. We don't care about style."

They didn't need to in a game in which the teams combined for three touchdowns and seven field goals.

"We're finding ways to win," said safety Eric Weddle, who had another late-game interception. "If that's all you can say about us, then that's a good thing to say."

It was the second week in a row the Chargers beat a winless team at home. The previous Sunday, the Chargers beat the defending division champion Kansas City Chiefs 20-17. The Chiefs got their first win Sunday by beating the winless Minnesota Vikings 22-17.

Turner was impressed with his team's effort.

"There wasn't anything blah-blah about anyone on our side," the coach said.

Henne hurt his left shoulder at the end of a run on a broken play on the Dolphins' second possession and didn't return. Although backup Matt Moore led the Dolphins to the game's first TD, Rivers' passing eventually overpowered the Dolphins (0-4).

Rivers threw a 55-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson to tie the game at 7 late in the first quarter. Ryan Mathews' 42-yard gain on a screen pass set up Tolbert's 1-yard leap over the pile for a 20-10 lead for the Chargers early in the third quarter.

The Chargers managed to score two touchdowns. They got four field goals from Nick Novak, from 27, 48, 23 and 38 yards. Rivers took a knee three times inside the Dolphins' 20-yard line to end the game.

"One thing that has been nice about all three of our wins is we took a knee at the end of the game," Rivers said. "A lot of guys will say that's the best formation in football."

Jackson, who was in and out of the game with a muscle strain in his leg, had three catches for 108 yards. Mathews had another solid day, running 16 times for 81 yards and catching five passes for 68 yards.

Henne and Moore were each intercepted once.

"Everybody is going to wish they had some plays back," Moore said.

Chargers star tight end Antonio Gates missed his second straight game with a sore right foot, an injury that's bothered him since last season.

Henne was hurt at the end of a 1-yard run in the first quarter. He went to hand off to Lex Hilliard, who wasn't ready for the ball. Henne was hit by Shaun Phillips and stayed on the ground for a few minutes. He walked off the field, then went into the locker room. When he came back out to the sideline, it was clear he wasn't going back in.

"I wanted to see how it felt, but the risk was too heavy to do," Henne said. "Doctors will let me throw tomorrow, we'll get some more tests done, see how my strength is."

Henne said it was a checkdown to a run and there were "missed communications with the running back. Injuries happen. I'll bounce back."

Moore came in and completed a 31-yard pass to Charles Clay. Hilliard capped the drive with a 4-yard TD run, but it was overturned after replay, with the officials saying his knee was down inside the 1-yard line. Hilliard then dove over the pile to give the Dolphins a 7-0 lead.

Rivers needed three plays to tie it. After consecutive first downs, he lobbed the 55-yarder to Jackson, who dived to make the catch, then got up before a Dolphins defender could touch him, and scooted into the end zone.

Reggie Bush, playing as a pro in his hometown for the first time, ran 13 times for 50 yards and caught two passes for 15 yards.

Miami's Dan Carpenter kicked field goals of 41, 37 and 51 yards.

Game notes


The game was blacked out in Southern California. ... The PA announcer referred to Bush as "Reggie Jackson" after a carry late in the first quarter. ... San Diego's Larry English had two sacks. ... Rookie CB Marcus Gilchrist, making his first start in place of injured Quentin Jammer, intercepted Henne.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
MIA
SD
1st Downs1621
Passing 1st downs
913
Rushing 1st downs
57
1st downs from penalties
21
3rd down efficiency
3-107-14
4th down efficiency
0-00-0
Total Plays5561
Total Yards248411
Yards per play4.56.7
Total Drives1010
Passing176295
Comp-Att
20-3021-31
Yards per pass
5.38.9
Interceptions thrown
20
Sacks-Yards Lost
3-182-12
Rushing72116
Rushing Attempts
2228
Yards per rush
3.34.1
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-21-4
Penalties2-418-80
Turnovers20
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
20
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession26:4233:18

Passing Leaders

MIAC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Moore17/261676.4013-18
Henne3/4276.8010-0
SDC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Rivers21/313079.9102-12

Rushing Leaders

MIACARYDSAVGTDLG
Bush13503.8016
Hilliard6203.314
SDCARYDSAVGTDLG
Mathews16815.1020
Rivers5183.6015

Receiving Leaders

MIARECYDSAVGTDLG
Marshall55210.4014
Clay23417.0031
SDRECYDSAVGTDLG
Jackson310836.0155
Mathews56813.6042

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERMIASD
miaTD2:52Lex Hilliard 1 Yard Run (Dan Carpenter Kick is Good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 92 yds, 5:37
70
sdTD1:47Vincent Jackson 55 Yard Pass From Philip Rivers (Nick Novak Kick is Good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 80 yds, 1:12
77
SECOND QUARTERMIASD
sdFG7:58Nick Novak 27 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 9 plays, 67 yds, 4:43
710
miaFG1:53Dan Carpenter 41 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 2 yds, 1:11
1010
sdFG0:12Nick Novak 48 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 8 plays, 50 yds, 1:41
1013
THIRD QUARTERMIASD
sdTD9:28Mike Tolbert 1 Yard Run (Nick Novak Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 54 yds, 4:29
1020
miaFG6:49Dan Carpenter 37 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 8 plays, 61 yds, 2:38
1320
sdFG1:17Nick Novak 23 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 9 plays, 79 yds, 5:31
1323
FOURTH QUARTERMIASD
miaFG11:38Dan Carpenter 51 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 11 plays, 46 yds, 4:41
1623
sdFG4:32Nick Novak 38 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 13 plays, 60 yds, 7:06
1626

Research Notes

Philip Rivers was 12 of 15 (80.0 percent) for 198 yards and a touchdown when passing inside the painted field numbers Sunday.

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