Peephole perspective: What a finish. The Chargers tied the game at 20, only to have Leon Washington return his second kickoff for a touchdown. But it took a fourth-down tip of a pass into the end zone to preserve the 27-20 victory.
Player of the quarter: Washington. Who else? Well, maybe Earl Thomas, who intercepted two passes. But after the Chargers had just tied the game, Washington took the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a TD. He not only is the first player in franchise history to have two a game, but the first to have two. Period.
Play of the quarter: The Chargers could have tied the score for a second time, but CB Roy Lewis tipped away Philip Rivers’ fourth-down pass into the end zone to WR Legedu Naanee.
Number of the quarter: 99. The number of false-start penalties against the opposing team at Qwest since 2005 – a league high. The Chargers had three, including two late in the game and with them knocking at the goal line.
The bigger picture: On the Chargers’ third play of the quarter, Rivers’ pass went off TE Antonio Gates and Seahawks FS Earl Thomas intercepted the carom and returned it 34 yards to the Chargers’ 11.
The Seahawks didn’t score a TD, as Matt Hasselbeck’s second- and third-down passes into the end zone were incomplete. But Olindo Mare came on to kick his 24th consecutive field goal to make it 20-12 with 11:27 to play.
The Chargers came right back, however, as Rivers passed 28 yards to TE Randy McMichael on their next play and then for 8 yards to Naanee on third-and-2. Battering-ram back Mike Tolbert then accounted for the next 19 yards, to the Seahawks’ 2, on an 8-yard reception and runs of 7 and 4 yards. That’s when things really got interesting. Rivers passed to TE Antonio Gates for a TD, but LT Brandyn Dombroswki was called for holding when he tackled Seahawks DL Kentwan Balmer. But Rivers then passed 12 yards to Gates for a TD that counted. On the two-point conversion, Rivers passed to Naanee, but it was ruled he had gone out of bound and returned. So, River passed to Naanee again for the score to tie the score.
But, Washington then ran the ensuing kickoff back for 99 yards and another TD, making it 27-20 with 6:24 to play.
As a but to the but, however, the Chargers came storming back, moving from their own 21 to the Seahawks’ 14. That’s when the Chargers were guilt of back-to-back false starts and a delay-of-game penalty. The delay call nullified Rivers’ TD pass to Crayton on fourth-and-14. CB Roy Lewis then batted away Rivers’ pass to Crayton and the Seahawks took over.
This one wasn’t over until Thomas intercepted Rivers’ fourth-down pass with 6 seconds left, after the Chargers had reached the Seahawks’ 12.