Steve Christie, one of the NFL's best kickers in the clutch, made a 40-yard field goal with 4:11 left in overtime marking the 8th overtime field goal of his career. Christie got the chance a few minutes after Jose Cortez kicked one wide right on a 41-yard attempt.
It was Christie's second field goal of the game after hitting one from 44 yards out with 5:05 to play to pull the Chargers to 17-10. Christie did have a 44 yard field goal blocked at the end of the first half as Dana Stubblefield got his hand on the ball.
The Chargers tied the game up at 17-17 on an 11 play, 58 yard drive that was capped off by a 1 yard pass from Drew Brees (29 of 50 for 336 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception) to Fred McCrary with :31 seconds to play.
The game was tied up at halftime at 7-7. In the first quarter Reche Caldwell caught a 4 yard pass from Brees to put the Chargers up 7-0 as the Bolts drove 80 yards on 10 plays.
San Francisco would knot it up at 7-7 on a 32 yard pass play from Jeff Garcia (25 of 43 for 337 yards, with two TDs and one interception) to Terrell Owens (seven catches for 171 yards). Owens cleanly beat Alex Molden on the play and Molden had no help in the secondary.
The 49ers quickly took the lead in the second half. Garcia hit Owens again for a 76-yard catch-and-run TD three plays into the second half to give the 49ers a 14-7 lead, Owens again beat Molden and had a good 5 yards on him when he caught the ball before slipping past safety Rogers Beckett at the Chargers 40 and angling into the end zone.
Cortez kicked a 24-yard field goal for a 17-7 lead midway through the third quarter.
The Chargers missed two golden chances to score. First a 35 yard touchdown pass to Curtis Conway (seven catches for 152 yards) late in the third quarter was called back after Conway stepped out of bounds, and then came back in to make the catch which is illegal if he is the first one to touch the ball. Then early in the fourth quarter, Brees moved the Chargers from their 25 to the Niners 4 in only three plays, but was intercepted in the end zone by Quincy Stewart after he under threw a ball intended for a wide open Stephen Alexander. Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer covered his face with his hands on the sideline in exasperation.
Victory Monday lies ahead as the team will get the day off on Monday for their winning efforts.
Chargers Steal Won in Overtime, 20-17
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