SAN DIEGO – Philip Rivers threw a touchdown pass on his first attempt of the season and Matt Schaub also had a TD pass and the Houston Texans and San Diego Chargers were tied 7-7 after the first quarter on Monday night.
The Chargers got off to a fast start in the NFL debut of rookie coach Mike McCoy with big plays on the first two snaps from scrimmage.
Defensive tackle Cam Thomas intercepted Schaub's pass on the first play from scrimmage. Rivers then hit running back Ryan Mathews with a 14-yard touchdown pass on the next play to give the Chargers a 7-0 lead 10 seconds into the game.
Houston used a 10-play, 71-yard drive to tie the score with 3:16 left on Schaub's 1-yard pass to tight end Owen Daniels.
There were two notable absences from the starting lineups.
Chargers rookie inside linebacker Manti Te'o, the club's second-round draft pick out of Notre Dame, was inactive for the game. Te'o suffered a sprained right foot after playing only nine snaps in San Diego's first preseason game on Aug. 8 and has not practiced since.
Houston free safety Ed Reed, signed as a free agent from the champion Baltimore Ravens, has not yet recovered from offseason hip surgery and was replaced by Shiloh Keo.
Houston started at its 14-yard line and on its first play, Schaub's short pass was tipped by linebacker Jarret Johnson and picked off by Thomas for no gain.
On the next play, Mathews beat linebacker Brooks Reed on a swing route out of the backfield, caught the ball at the 3-yard line and fell into the end zone for the touchdown.
The Texans took over at their 29-yard line with 9:02 left and got their initial first down on a 12-yard pass from Schaub to tight end Garrett Graham.
Schaub also hit Daniels on an 18-yard pass to the San Diego 33.
Ben Tate carried 14 yards to the Chargers 18 and Arian Foster carried nine yards to the 1, setting up Schaub's TD pass.
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