The Los Angeles Chargers offense took the field first led by Philip Rivers. They started with an easy toss to Keenan Allen that he took for a 1st down. On Melvin Gordon’s first carry, he picked up an easy eight yards. On 2nd down, Rivers found Allen again for another 1st down. Gordon’s second carry was not as successful but still picked up positive yardage. Geremy Davis hauled in a short pass for a short gain to set up 3rd & 5. On the first 3rd down of the game, Rivers hit Travis Benjamin deep down the middle of the field for a 45-yard touchdown.
Malcolm Brown, starting for Todd Gurley, got the Rams started with a 2-yard carry. Jared Goff’s first pass was completed to Robert Woods for 16 yards. Brown got another carry but was stopped in the backfield by Jahleel Addae. Goff then escaped pressure from Joey Bosa and hooked up with Brown for a 22-yard gain. A defensive pass interference penalty against Jatavis Brown moved the Rams inside the 10-yard line. Goff’s first pass was high and out the back of the end zone. His next drop back did not go nearly so well. Bosa stripped the football and Melvin Ingram picked up the fumble and ran it back 76 yards for a touchdown.
Younghoe Koo kicked off to Pharoh Cooper who returned the ball 14 yards to the 12-yard line for some reason. Goff’s first pass of the drive went to Cooper for 8 yards. On 2nd & 2, Brown moved the sticks with a 5-yard gain. Goff then threw up a duck which Jason Verrett intercepted and returned for a nice chunk of yards. Then there was a review to determine if he was down before the return. It was determined he was down.
The Chargers took over on their own 46-yard line. Gordon picked up 9 yards on his first carry. Then picked up the 1st down on his next. His third went for 6 yards. Rivers hit Allen for a 3-yard gain on 2nd & 4. The Rams then jumped offside to move the chains again. Branden Oliver spelled Gordon for a play picking up 2 yards. Gordon returned to the field to pick up another 2. On 3rd & 6, Allen got open across the middle for a 17-yard gain. On 1st & goal from the 7, Gordon picked up 5 and on 2nd down he finished the drive in the end zone.
Brown’s first two carries of the Rams’ next drive picked up 13 and 5 yards respectively as the 1st quarter came to a close. An Illegal Use of Hands penalty on Kyle Emanuel moved the sticks. Brown carried again for 9 more yards on 1st down. Then he picked up the 1st down on his next carry. Brown added another 9 yards on 1st down. The Chargers finally slowed him down on 2nd down, but on 3rd down Aaron Green moved the sticks. Green stayed on the field for the new set of downs and was stopped for 1 yard on 1st down. Goff was finally allowed to throw the ball again on 2nd down and could not complete the pass. On 3rd & 9, he completed a pass underneath and the Chargers defense was able to make the stop short of the 1st down marker. Greg Zuerlein then put the Rams on the board with a field goal.
Philip Rivers’ night came to an end with his line reading: 6 of 6 for 85 yards and a touchdown. Cardale Jones took over and handed the ball to Oliver on his first two plays to get a new set of downs. Oliver was stopped for no gain on 1st down. Jones then showed good timing with Allen to pick up 8 on 2nd down. On 3rd down, Jones’ pass was too far to the inside and Benjamin was unable to break up the interception by Dominique Hatfield.
Sean Mannion took over for Goff on this drive. He started off well hitting Cooper for 8 yards on 1st down. Justin Davis picked up 4 yards and another 1st down. Mannion then completed a pass to Davis for 14 yards. Davis then ran for another 4-yard gain. Mannion then found Gerald Everett for 3 yards before Brandon Shippen turned another Mannion pass into a 1st down. Davis rushed for 4 more yards on 1st & goal from the 7. Mannion was then unable to complete fade to Cooper. Good coverage by Addae on 3rd down resulted in the Rams attempting another field goal. Zuerlein was good again for another 3 points.
Jones threw an unattractive but effective pass to Hunter Henry that he hauled in for 16 yards. Oliver rushed for 2 yards to take the clock down to the 2-minute warning. On 2nd & 8, Henry was flagged for a False Start. On 2nd & 13, Isaiah Burse made his first appearance with a 7-yard gain. On 3rd & 6, Blake Countess had good coverage and forced an incompletion. Drew Kaser then saw his first action of the game.
A neutral zone infraction gave the Rams an easy 1st & 5 to start their drive. Jatavis Brown broke up the 1st down pass intended for Cooper. On 2nd down, Brown gave the Rams a free new set of downs via an unnecessary roughness penalty. Mannion then threw three more passes completing two for a total of 12 yards. On the subsequent 1st down, Josh Reynolds dropped Mannion’s well timed, well-thrown pass. On 2nd down, Chris McCain hit Mannion quickly to force an incompletion and set up 3rd & 10 with 10 seconds to play in the half. The play was then reviewed to see if it was actually a sack and fumble. Reynolds picked up 10 yards and got out of bounds to set up Zuerlein with a 57-yard field goal attempt. He, of course, converted it as time expired in the half.
Davis was stopped for a short gain on his first carry. Michael Davis had good coverage that forced an overthrow by Mannion on 2nd down. On 3rd down, a boneheaded penalty by Nick Dzubnar gave the Rams new life and a fresh set of downs. Justin Davis was stopped for no gain on 1st down and Mannion had another pass find the grass on 2nd. On 3rd & 10, Desmond King had good coverage and a pass break up.
Andre Williams got his first carry of the game and picked up one yard. On 2nd down, he helped buy Jones enough time to find Sean Culkin for 6 yards. On 3rd & 3, Williams picked up 6 yards and a first down. On his next carry, he was stopped behind the line of scrimmage. An Illegal Formation penalty backed the offense up again. On 2nd & 16, Matt Weiser picked up 8 yards and nearly fumbled but his forward progress had been stopped. On 3rd & 8, Mitchell Paige moved the sticks. Williams picked up 3 on his next carry but was stopped in the backfield on 2nd down. On 3rd & 9, Jones was pressured and looked to run, but he was ultimately stopped for a loss.
Mannion completed a 16-yard pass to Reynolds at the end of which Dexter McCoil annihilated him. It was good for an Unnecessary Roughness penalty that tacked on 15 yards. Mannion then found Cooper for 21 yards with Mager in “coverage.” Good coverage forced a throwaway on the next play. Reynolds then beat Randall Evans for 38 yards and a touchdown on 2nd down. It was a beautiful throw by Mannion.
Austin Ekeler returned Travis Coons’ kickoff 29 yards to the 26-yard line. Jones completed a pass underneath to Geremy Davis for 2 yards. Williams added four yards on 2nd & 8. Ekeler converted 3rd & 4 with a 13-yard run out of shotgun. Jones threw off his back foot but still hit Jamaal Jones in the hands down the sideline. Jones, unfortunately, could not haul in the pass. Culkin picked up 7 yards on a short pass across the middle. Davis then converted 3rd down with a nice catch and run for 10 yards. Williams was then stopped short of the line of scrimmage again and this time he fumbled for good measure.
Mannion got the next drive moving with a 5-yard completion to Shippen. Green tacked on 3 more yards with a run up the middle. Reynolds moved the chains with a 17-yard reception that ended the 3rd quarter. Cooper picked up 9 on a short pass from Mannion to set up 2nd & 1. Green rushed for 6 yards, but a holding penalty made it 2nd & 11. Green got 3 of it back on a run up the middle. On 3rd & 8, McCain made his presence known again batting down a pass at the line. Coons then drilled a 53-yard field goal to pull the Rams within 2 points.
Jones found Artavis Scott for 5 yards on 1st down. A holding penalty on Dan Feeney made it 1st & 20. Ekeler was hit by Willie Mays and stopped for a short gain. Jones scrambled for 7 yards on 2nd & 18. On 3rd & 11, Jones completed a pass to Paige just past the marker, but the Rams challenged and the pass clearly hit the ground.
The Rams took over at their own 29-yard line. An Illegal Use of Hands penalty against Joshua Perry gave the Rams a free 5 yards and a 1st down. Mannion connected with Cooper for 24 yards with Evans in coverage again. Mannion fumbled but recovered. Paul McRoberts took a short pass for 21 yards. Mannion missed McRoberts on the next play. A False Start moved them back. McRoberts was targeted again and caught a 12-yard pass. On 3rd & 3, Mannion had another pass fall incomplete. Travis Coons then missed a short field goal.
Mike Bercovici relieved Jones and the countdown to the game finally ending was truly in effect. Ekeler rushed for 5 yards on 1st down. Bercovici completed his first pass attempt for 15 yards to Andre Patton. Ekeler rushed for another 3 yards. Bercovici’s second pass attempt fell incomplete. Matt Weiser hauled in his second reception of the day converting on 3rd down. Barner rushed for 6 yards on 1st down after Bercovici nearly botched the handoff. Bercovici scrambled for the 1st down, but Barrett Gouger was flagged for holding. Bercovici’s next scramble only made it back to the line of scrimmage. Patton pulled in the 3rd & 14 pass for a 16-yard gain. On 1st & 10, the Chargers burned a time out then were flagged for holding to set up 1st & 18. Weiser nearly caught an inaccurate pass from Bercovici twice but the defender punched it away. Bercovici then could not complete a pass behind the line to Ekeler due to a quick pass rush. On 3rd & 10, Bercovici’s pass was batted down at the line.
Dan Orlovsky’s first pass was complete to McRoberts for 8 yards. His next was well defended by James Onwualu. And Orlovsky’s 3rd down attempt was incomplete as well.
The Chargers took over after the 2-minute warning and Da’Ron Brown had a nice catch and run that was largely undone by an illegal block in the back. Brown also made the mistake of going out of bounds, but that was rendered moot by the penalty. On 1st & 3, Barner lost 1 yard. On 2nd & 4, he lost 5 more. On 3rd & 9, Ekeler rushed for the 1st down. On 1st & 10, the Chargers handed off to Ekeler again rather than just take a knee. On 2nd & 7, Bercovici took a knee to end the game.