The Los Angeles Chargers won their fourth straight coin toss and elected to receive. Following a touchback, Cardale Jones led the offense onto the field. On 1st down, Jones targeted Geremy Davis who caught the pass for a 5-yard gain. On 2nd down, Kenjon Barner was stopped for no gain on a rush up the middle. Barner was involved again on 3rd down as he picked up 8 yards on a short pass to the left of the formation. Jamaal Jones got his number called on 1st down and picked up 7 yards. Barner converted the 2nd & 3 rushing for 4 yards. On the new set of downs, Jones threw a bit hard and a bit behind Sean Culkin who let the ball bounce off his hands into the waiting arms of Asa Jackson for an interception.
C.J. Beathard, starting at quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, got things rolling early completing an 11-yard pass to Logan Paulsen. Tim Hightower then rushed into the line for no gain. Victor Bolden was then dropped for a loss on an endaround. On 3rd & 14, Beathard scrambled for 7 yards before the punt team came on.
On Barner’s first carry of the drive, he rushed for 10 yards before having the ball stripped by Adrian Colbert. San Francisco recovered.
Beathard’s first pass fell incomplete. Hightower was then stopped after a short gain. Desmond King then made his presence felt by sacking Beathard for an 8-yard loss. King always seems to come up big on 3rd down. Robbie Gould then drilled a 41-yard field goal.
Barner got the call again rushing for 1 yard. Jones looked for Davis on 2nd & 9, but his pass fell incomplete. On 3rd & 9, Jones scrambled for 8 yards. Toby Baker then came on to punt.
Rookie Joe Williams got the first carry of the next drive and picked up 6 yards around right end. Beathard’s pass to Bolden then fell incomplete. On 3rd & 4, the 49ers converted as Beathard hit Hightower for a 5-yard gain. Hightower was involved on the next play getting stopped for a 1-yard loss. The 49ers tried their luck again on the next play passing to Hightower who was stopped for another 1-yard loss. On 3rd & 12, Beathard was sacked by Korey Toomer for an 8-yard loss. Bradley Pinion then came on for another punt.
Barner continued to see work rushing for 2 yards. Jones looked to Davis again picking up 5 yards. On 3rd & 3, Mitchell Paige saw his first action hauling in a 16-yard pass. On the next play from scrimmage, Jones found Matt Weiser across the middle for 21 yards.
Austin Ekeler finally got to touch the ball and rushed for 11 yards. On the next play, he rushed for 1 yard. On the following play, Jones threw to Ekeler who picked up 11 more yards. Now at the 4-yard line, the Chargers turned to Andre Williams. Williams rushed for no gain then lost five yards on the next play. On 3rd down, Jones badly missed Ekeler and Younghoe Koo came on to attempt a field goal.
Beathard hit Bolden for a 9-yard gain. Then Hightower rushed for 11 yards. Hightower got his number called again rushing for 2 yards. Then, it all went wrong. C.J. Beathard scrambled for 62 yards and a touchdown. Along the way, he absolutely embarrassed the defense, especially Dwight Lowery.
Ekeler started the drive off getting stuffed for no gain. JOnes then hit Davis for an 8-yard gain. On 3rd down, he targeted Ekeler but the pass fell incomplete. Drew Kaser came on to punt and badly outkicked his coverage. Bolden made him pay returning the punt 92 yards for a touchdown.
Williams started the next drive by rushing for 2 yards. Jones was then sacked by Dekoda Watson and he fumbled the ball. Ray-Ray Armstrong recovered and gave the 49ers the ball back at the Chargers 8-yard line.
Hightower would run the ball three times before finally punching the ball into the endzone from the 1-yard line.
The offense looked like it might get back on track as Jones hit Jamaal Jones for 23 yards on the first play of the drive. Williams then carried the ball on consecutive downs for a total of 3 yards. And on 3rd down, Jones was sacked again. Baker came on to punt the ball away.
Beathard continued to beat the Chargers’ defense with his legs scrambling for 11 yards. He then found Joe Williams for 7 yards across the middle. He tried Williams again but could not complete the pass. 3rd down was a repeat of 2nd and the 49ers had to punt again.
Jones threw to Jones for 5 yards. Then Jones ran for 8 more. He then continued to work underneath completing a 5-yard pass to Baner. Following a penalty, JOnes passed to Barner for 13 yards to set up 3rd & 2. Barner rushed for 7 yards to convert. Jones then spiked the ball to stop the clock. With the chance to run one last play, Jones completed a 5-yard pass to Jones.
Rookie quarterback Nick Mullens took over for Beathard to start the 2nd half. On his first drop back, he was sacked by Craig Mager for an 8-yard loss. Mullens targeted Tim Patrick who was covered by Mager on 2nd down and go all of the yardage back plus 6 more. On 3rd & 4, Mullens completed a pass to DeAndre Carter for 5 yards. Mullens followed that up by fumbling the snap. On 2nd down, DeAndre Smelter caught a pass for 9 yards. Mullens looked for Carter on 3rd down, but his pass fell incomplete.
Ekeler rushed for 11 yards on his first carry of the 2nd half. Jones followed that up by rushing for 10 more yards. Culkin then hauled in a 7-yard pass. Ekeler picked up another 1st down rushing for 4 yards. Jones went to Culkin again picking up 3 yards. Jones then found Ekeler for a 15-yard gain. Artavis Scott’s first action of the game was an endaround for 13 yards. Barner returned to the field to rush for no gain. Andre Patton lost a yard on his first reception. Da’Ron Brown’s first target fell incomplete. Josh Lambo then converted a 38-yard field goal attempt.
The 49ers first play of their next drive was a 9-yard run called back for an illegal block. Cole Hikutini got them a new set of downs anyway with a 20-yard reception. Mullens then scrambled for 8 yards. Then on a designed run he picked up 14 more. Kapri Bibbs then rushed for 8 yards. Then, on 2nd & 2, he rushed for 2 more. Full back Tyler McCloskey saw his first target on the next play but did not turn it into a reception. Williams then rushed for 1 yard. On 3rd & 9, Williams was tackled for a loss of 5. Nick Rose then missed a 53-yard field goal attempt.
Mike Bercovici then relieved Cardale Jones. He immediately threw an interception that the only reason it wasn’t a pick-six was that he threw the pass too low.
Joe Williams then rushed for 8 yards to end the 3rd quarter.
Williams picked up where he left off rushing for 10 yards and another 1st down. Joe Williams followed that run up by fumbling. Ryan Carrethers got credit for the forced fumble. Kyle Coleman recovered to give the ball back to the offense.
Kenjon Barner rushed for 4 yards on the first play of the drive. Bercovici looked to Barner again on 2nd down picking up 3 yards. Bercovici then threw one into the grass that may or may not have been meant for Cameron Posey.
Williams continued to run the ball picking up 2 yards on 1st down. Patrick then caught a pass for 7 yards. On 3rd & 1, Williams converted for 3 yards. Williams then rushed for another 5 yards on a carry up the middle. Williams again carried for 11 yards. Mullens mishandled the ball and Whitney Richardson dove on the fumble.
Bercovici completed a short pass to Culkin for 11 yards. Ekeler then rushed for 1 yard. Bercovici completed another short pass, this time to Ekeler, and Ekeler scampered for 32 yards. He is a joy to watch. Ekeler got another carry and picked up 4 yards. Then, the coaches replaced him again with Andre Wiliams. Williams promptly lost 4 yards. Then Bercovici, doing what he does, got picked in the endzone. It was a terrible throw.
Bibbs got the first carry of the drive and was stopped for a loss by Tenny Palepoi. On 2nd down, Bibbs rushed for 9 yards. Completely unseen by the quarterback, Coleman picked the pass and ran it back for a touchdown. The subsequent extra point was blocked because the 49ers were way offside. The unblocked extra point attempt was good.
Bibbs got the call again rushing for 3 yards. Mullens then hooked up with Smelter for 8 yards. Bibbs then rushed for 5 more yards. And the clock continued to tick and everyone just hoped the game would end soon. Bibbs rushed again picking up 4 yards. The referee, being a good man, ruled that Bibbs went down inbounds even though he did not and we got to the 2-minute warning. Bibbs got the clock running again on 3rd down rushing for 1 yard. The 49ers punted the ball away and the Chargers offense came back on to run out the clock.