The Chargers got off to a quick start, despite being on defense to start the game. Just a few plays into the game defensive tackle Brandon Mebane forced Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley to fumble on a screen pass.
This momentum quickly disappeared after wide receiver Keenan Allen dropped what would have been an easy first down. The team ended up punting just two plays later.
The Chargers would end up paying dearly for this blown opportunity, as the Los Angeles Rams capitalized on their stop and proceeded to drive down the field and score a touchdown immediately. This touchdown was a one-yard run by Todd Gurley, which occurred after Brandin Cooks’ would be touchdown was overturned as the officials deemed him down at the one-yard line. Rams lead 7-0 with 6:14 left in the first quarter.
The Chargers swung the momentum back in their favor just two plays later when wide receiver Mike Williams beat cornerback Marcus Peters deep for a 42-yard touchdown. Things got scary shortly after when Williams did not get off the ground immediately, appearing injured. Williams ended up leaving the field unassisted, luckily.
Kicker Caleb Sturgis proceeded to miss the extra point as the team’s kicking woes continue.
The Rams’ offense continued to hum on the next possession. Quarterback Jared Goff ran for a 16-yard first down which was followed two players later by a pass to Brandin Cooks that brought the team within the five-yard line. Goff then threw a touchdown to wide receiver Robert Woods on the next play. Rams lead 14-6 with 0:51 left in the first quarter.
The Chargers went three and out on their next possession as quarterback Phillip Rivers narrowly avoids an interception on third down.
Run defense continued to be an issue for the Chargers on the following drive. Rams’ running back Malcolm Brown rushed for two first downs on his first three runs of the game.
Brandon Mebane registered his first sack of the year and second big play of the game when he brought down Jared Goff on second down, leading to 3rd and 14. The impact of this sack was wasted as the Chargers gave up a first down on the following play due to penalty.
Rams tight end Tyler Higbee caught a 20-yard pass over linebacker Kyzir White on the following play. The Rams were now in the red zone, ready to build on their lead. Things did not go as planned, though.
Safety Derwin James caught his first interception of the season when Jared Goff attempted a pass in the end zone. James attempted to stay in the end zone and force a touchback but instead jumped over the line, going out of bounds at the one-yard line and putting the Chargers offense in a precarious situation.
The team then ran the ball twice, finding themselves inches away from a safety. A safety would have more ideal than what ended up ensuing on the following play. Punter Drew Kaser’s punt was blocked, resulting in not only a Rams touchdown, but also an injury to Kaser. Rams lead 21-6 with 7:50 left in the second quarter.
When the Chargers offense returned to the field they immediately found themselves in a third down situation. Veteran tight end Antonio Gates found himself open along the sideline on this play, resulting in a 27-yard first down. Marcus Peters was injured on this play and had to be helped off the field by team trainers.
Following Gates’ long first down, the team attempted a trick play that had Keenan Allen attempt to throw a pass downfield after a reverse. This play failed, resulting in a loss of seven yards after Allen slipped. Allen quickly made up for this mistake when he caught a 25-yard first down in double coverage on the following play.
This drive was concluded by an 11-yard touchdown run by running back Melvin Gordon. The Chargers brought themselves back into the game, now down 13-21 with 3:21 left in the first half.
The Rams began to drive down the field as the half concluded with a long gain to Robert Woods on the right sideline. This pass went just over the outstretched hand of Derwin James. The team’s momentum was brought to a halt when a first down play was erased due to an offensive pass interference, resulting in a third and thirteen that they failed to convert. They kicked a field goal on fourth down to close the half but it ended up missing wide right.
The second half began with a six-yard rush by Melvin Gordon. This was followed two plays later by a thirteen yard first down catch by Antonio Gates. Things took a turn for the worst when Keenan Allen fumbled while trying to fight for extra yards on the following play.
The Rams took over near midfield and scored just a few plays later on a 53-yard pass to Cooper Kupp down the right sideline. Cornerback Trevor Williams missed the tackle that led to this scoring play. Rams lead 28-13 with 12:38 left in the third quarter.
After a game-altering series of events that saw the Rams take a 15 point lead, the Chargers’ offense bounced back with a 32-yard run by Austin Ekeler. This would be his career-long run. It seemed the offense had come to a stall when they failed to convert on third down, leading to fourth and two. This did not end up being the case as the team elected to go for it on fourth down which resulted in a 20-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams, his second of the day. Chargers trail 20-28 with 8:18 left in the third quarter.
When the Rams offense came back on the field, they came out firing. Todd Gurley took off for over 40 yards on a screen pass, but it was brought back due to holding, giving the Chargers a much-needed break. This didn’t stop the Rams for long, though, as Brandin Cooks took a sweep for 15 yards on the next play. This drive came to a close with yet another touchdown thrown to Robert Woods. The Rams’ offense continued to be able to do whatever they want. Rams lead 35-20 with 3:19 left in the third quarter.
Two plays into the following Chargers’ drive, Tyrell Williams caught a drag that went for eight yards. He ended up falling onto the ankle of Rams’ cornerback Aqib Talib, forcing him to leave the field limping. Mike Williams continued to dominate the Rams’ secondary when he brought in a 16-yard first down later in the same drive. Tackle Russell Okung appeared to be down with an injury at the end of the play, forcing a timeout. He was able to walk off the field unassisted, luckily.
Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips decided to place defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh over rookie tackle Trent Scott immediately after Okung left the game. This led to Scott giving up a sack on his first play. This sack did not prove to be crippling thanks to a ten-yard run by Austin Ekeler on the following play. The Chargers found themselves in a fourth and goal situation and elected to kick a field goal to end the drive. Chargers trail 23-35 with 11:49 left in the fourth quarter.
The next Rams drive began with them in poor field position due to an illegal double team penalty on the kick return. This proved inconsequential as the team immediately made up the lost yards with several runs by Todd Gurley. What did prove to be consequential was the offensive facemask penalty that guard Rodger Saffold committed soon after that negated a 20+ yard completion to Cooper Kupp.
This wasn’t the end of the team’s penalty issues on the drive. On a third and 21 passing attempt the Rams were called for a holding penalty that turned it into a third and 30. This, of course, was not converted, leading to a punt. The Chargers take over from the 40-yard line with 7:38 left in the game.
Melvin Gordon began the Chargers drive with a 23-yard run that took the team to the Rams’ side of the field. This was followed by a 15-yard catch and run by Austin Ekeler. The offense was off to a great start, breeding hope of a possible comeback. This drive ended with the team going for it on fourth and five, but failing to convert—effectively ending the team’s chances of a comeback. Rams take over with 4:23 left in the game.
The Rams finished the game in the following drive, running the clock down to double zeros.