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(Sunday, December 6th)
Final Score: San Diego 30, Cleveland 23
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Philip Rivers completed 18-of-25 passes for 373 yards and two touchdowns, as the San Diego Chargers won their seventh straight game with a 30-23 victory over the Cleveland Browns.
LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 64 yards and a score on 20 carries to become the fastest player to score 150 career touchdowns. Tomlinson reached 150 in his 137th game, passing Emmitt Smith, who accomplished the feat in 160 games.
Tomlinson also jumped two spots on the NFL's career rushing list. He passed Marshall Faulk (12,279) for ninth place and then surpassed Jim Brown (12,312) for eighth place on the list. Tomlinson now has 12,321 career rushing yards.
Mike Tolbert and Darren Sproles each had a receiving touchdown for the Chargers (9-3), who extended their winning streak to 15 games in the month of December.
Antonio Gates caught eight passes for 167 yards for San Diego, which leads the AFC West by one game over Denver.
"It was the kind of game I expected it to be," Chargers coach Norv Turner said. "Cleveland has played an awfully hard schedule. I thought they were a good football team and it showed today."
Brady Quinn connected on 25-of-45 passes for 271 yards and three touchdowns for the Browns (1-11), who have dropped seven straight and 17 of their last 18 games dating back to last season.
Jerome Harrison caught seven passes for 62 yards and two TDs while Mohamed Massaquoi caught a touchdown pass for Cleveland, which stretched its home losing streak to 10 games.
"I'm disappointed, but I'm really happy with the way our guys kept fighting," Browns head coach Eric Mangini said. "They kept dealing with whatever adversity they had. They've been fighting each week."
The Browns made things interesting early by taking the opening possession of the game down the field for a touchdown. Cleveland converted two third downs on the drive. A nine-yard reception by Evan Moore helped set up a 3rd-and-7 from the 11, and Quinn connected with Massaquoi to cap a 10-play, 72-yard march with 8:37 left.
San Diego took its first drive down to the Browns' 14, but two incompletions sandwiched a one-yard Sproles run. The Chargers settled for a 32-yard Nate Kaeding field goal to cut the gap to 7-3 with 2:59 remaining.
Cleveland marched down the field on its ensuing possession. The result was not what the Browns hoped for, as Phil Dawson pulled a 43-yard field goal wide left. The Chargers took full advantage, scoring a TD on their first play. Rivers couldn't find an open receiver before dumping the ball off in the flat to Tolbert, who scampered 66 yards down the left sideline to give San Diego a 10-7 edge with 45 seconds left in the first.
Quinn was sacked and fumbled the football with the Browns deep in the Chargers' territory. Kaeding's 42-yard field goal before the half put San Diego ahead 13-7 heading into the locker room.
The Chargers took control of the contest with a strong third quarter.
San Diego got the ball to begin the second half and put together an eight- play, 85-yard scoring drive. Gates caught a 36-yard pass on the march, which Sproles ended with a 31-yard catch-and-run for a 20-7 margin with 10:30 to go.
After the Browns went three-and-out, San Diego looked to Gates to spark another scoring drive. Gates' 56-yard grab led to Tomlinson's four-yard TD run for a 27-7 lead with 5:58 remaining.
Harrison's eight-yard TD catch cut the deficit to 27-14 with 9:15 to play in the fourth. Kaeding then drilled a 22-yarder to make it a 30-14 game with 4:12 to go.
Harrison's eight-yard touchdown grab trimmed the gap to 30-20 with 1:55 to play. The two-point conversion failed, but the Browns recovered an onside kick. Cleveland got a 49-yard field goal from Dawson to make it a seven-point contest with 39 ticks left. The Browns failed to recover the onside kick this time around, though, and San Diego ran the clock out.
Tony Dorsett (12,739) is seventh all-time on the NFL's career rushing list...Sproles caught four passes for 56 yards and rushed for 27 yards on seven carries...Massaquoi hauled in two passes for 24 yards...Josh Cribbs led Cleveland's rushing attack with 38 yards on four touches. Harrison carried the ball 10 times for 35 yards...San Diego hasn't lost a December contest since ending the 2005 season with a setback to Denver on December 31...The Chargers were without safety Eric Weddle (knee), linebacker Shawne Merriman (foot), center Nick Hardwick (ankle), and defensive end Luis Castillo (calf)...San Diego has a 14-7-1 lead in the all-time series with Cleveland, and has won four straight in the series...The Browns welcome the Steelers to town on Thursday, while the Chargers play at Dallas next Sunday.
12/06 21:09:55 ET
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