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Bolts at Their Best on Third Down

Posted Dec 9, 2012

If there is one thing the San Diego Chargers offense can point to as a reason for their 34-24 victory of the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, it would have to be their third-down efficiency.

Facing the NFL’s fifth-best rush defense and best pass defense, the Chargers offense was 12-for-22 on third-down opportunities, good enough for a 55 percent mark.

“For me, the game really says something about our guys and the mentality they have,” Chargers head coach Norv Turner said. “We had some things go our way today that we haven’t had go our way. Offensively, that was probably the key that we had big plays on third down. We were on a little bit of a roll early on third down, getting conversions and then obviously we did not turn the football over.”

The drive that sticks out most when it comes to third-down conversions is the first drive of the second half, in which the Chargers successfully converted four consecutive third downs. The 17-play drive took 9:32 off the clock and gave the Chargers the 20-3 lead, when quarterback Philip Rivers threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Malcom Floyd.

“Best drive of the year,” Rivers said. “Best drive of the year. That one will be fun to watch over and over again. There were some third-down conversions and I end up with a touchdown. That was a heck of a drive.”

Wide receiver Micheal Spurlock, who was picked up by the Bolts at the end of November after being waived in early October, played a key role in the Chargers’ third-down efficiency.

Spurlock totaled seven catches for 64 yards. Six of those seven catches resulted in a first down, with five of those six coming on third down. The Chargers scored 17 points off drives in which Spurlock had at least one third-down conversion.


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