Chargers NFL 2019
Running back Austin Ekeler scores the winning touchdown Sunday Sept. 8, 2019 in overtime against the Indianapolis Colts. Photo credit: Screenshot, NFL.com

Austin Ekeler ran seven yards for a touchdown in overtime as the Los Angeles Chargers opened the 2019 NFL season with a 30-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts Sunday.

Ekeler also caught 1- and 55-yard touchdown passes from Philip Rivers before an announced crowd of 25,363 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson.

The Chargers recorded a victory in a season opener for the first time since 2015, when they were still in San Diego.

Indianapolis sent the game into overtime on Jacoby Brissett’s 19-yard pass to T.Y. Hilton and Marlon Mack’s two-point conversion run with 38 seconds to play. It was the Colts’ first official game since quarterback Andrew Luck, 29, unexpectedly announced his retirement last month.

The Chargers received the kickoff to begin overtime and drove 75 yards on eight plays.

The Chargers committed both of the game’s turnovers, a late Rivers interception and a muffed punt in the third quarter. The Colts, however, did not capitalize.

Rivers completed 25 of 34 passes for 333 yards and three touchdowns with one interception in his 209th consecutive start.

The Chargers scored on both their final possessions of the first half. Rivers made a 28-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Allen, while Ty Long made a 40-yard field goal.

Long’s kick marked his first official attempt in the NFL.

Ekeler caught six passes for 96 yards and ran for 58 yards on 12 carries. He took the place of Melvin Gordon, who did not report to camp as he seeks a contract extension.

Long handled the Chargers kicking and punting, as Michael Badgley’s groin injury kept him out of action.

The Chargers go to Detroit to face the Lions next Sunday.

– City News Service