Philip Rivers’ hot half gives Chargers 21-17 lead

AP

When we left the Chargers and Buccaneers, we suggested that the lead change that happened when the Bucs returned a blocked punt for a touchdown wouldn’t be the last one of the day.

The line for pats on the back starts here. It wasn’t all that bold of a prediction, though. Philip Rivers has been carving up the Tampa pass defense and it seemed unlikely that was about to stop in the middle of the second quarter. It didn’t stop, as it turns out, and Rivers completed all eight of his passes on the ensuing drive to lead the team to a touchdown that sent them into the locker room with a 21-17 lead.

Rivers hit Malcolm Floyd for that touchdown, his third of the half and part of an overall 16-of-18, 218-yard performance on the heels of another good game against the Chiefs. Knock the levels of the defenses all you like, but it’s a positive development after weeks of turnover-plagued performances.

The Bucs started out hot on offense, taking the ball 80 yards for a touchdown, but they have picked up just 67 yards since that point. Most of those yards came on one 54-yard pass to Mike Williams, so there’s clearly some work to do on that side of the ball as well. A heavier dose of Doug Martin — seven touches for 74 yards — could be one way to get that work done.