The San Diego Chargers were down for much of their game against the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday. Still, the Chargers kept their playoff hopes alive with a 38-35 overtime win against the Niners even as San Francisco were -1 favorites. Even with this, there are concerns about the health of their star quarterback.
Philip Rivers led the Chargers to the victory with a strong performance but there are reports that he has been playing with many injuries. In addition to a number of rib injuries that he has sustained this season, some reports suggest that he has a bulging disc in his back and that he has been taking epidural injections to keep it in check.
The biggest concern about the bulging disc is that it could become herniated. Even with this concern and many others in mind, Rivers helped lead the Bolts to victory. It was not all that easy at the start as the Chargers were down 28-7 at the half. Rivers had three interceptions in the game with being returned by Antoine Bethea for a touchdown. Frank Gore also had a 52-yard touchdown run in the first while Colin Kaepernick had a 90-yard touchdown run in the third.
The Chargers did have two touchdowns in about three minutes in the third after a touchdown pass to Antonio Gates was followed by Corey Liuget recovering a fumble in the end zone as Kaepernick was sacked.
Rivers had two touchdown passes late in the fourth to force the game into overtime. These came from two 80-plus-yard drives in less than four minutes each. In overtime, the Niners' Quinton Patton fumbled a run that was recovered by the Bolts' Sean Lissemore. This led to a 40-yard field goal by Nick Novak a few minutes later.
Philip Rivers went 33-54 with 356 yards and four touchdowns in spite of having three interceptions. Eddie Royal had 94 receiving yards and a touchdown while Antonio Gate had two receiving touchdowns. The Chargers are now 9-6 and are still competing with five others for the AFC's wild card spots but will need help from Pittsburgh, Baltimore or Cincinnati losing their games.
Colin Kaepernick went 15-24 for 114 passing yards and a touchdown plus 151 rushing yards. Frank Gore had 158 rushing yards for the Niners plus a touchdown. The team fell to a 7-8 record.