The Chargers did what most of us expected them to do: beat up on the backup players for the Chiefs as they sat stars Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Tyrann Mathieu. Justin Herbert set just about every record in the book in the Bolts’ 38-21 win, giving them four-straight to end the year.
The only notable record that evaded Herbert’s grasp was the passing yards mark set by Andrew Luck. Herbert fell just 39 yards short of Luck’s 4,374 as the game flow just wasn’t in the cards. However, on the team’s final drive of the game, the Bolts needed 58 yards to reach the end zone while Herbert, at the time, needed 57 passing yards to break the mark. However, Anthony Lynn didn’t care in the slightest. He passed just once and ran it the remainder of the plays before they Chargers sat int he victory formation to bleed the last two minutes on the clock.
What a bummer.
But let’s take a moment to look back at a good chunk of the records Herbert has set over the past 15 starts:
- Total touchdowns by a rookie quarterback (36)
- Passing touchdowns (31)
- Completions (396)
- 300-yard passing games (8)
- Games with multiple touchdown passes (10)
- Games with three passing touchdowns (6)
On another record-breaking note, rookie linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr. set the franchise record for total tackles by a Chargers defender with 107, breaking the mark of 105 set by Derwin James in 2018.
That’s not too shabby for a pair of first-round rookies, both of whom got plenty of criticism after they were selected this past April.
The 2020 Chargers season has officially come to an end and with that, our final game recap of the season. Let’s get to it.
Chad Henne and the Chiefs were the first to get on the board when the 35 year old started six-for-six through the air before hitting wide receiver Byron Pringle on a slant for the opening touchdown of the game.
On the Chargers ensuing drive, Herbert maneuvered a murky pocket to hit Donald Parham up the left sideline with just enough time to snag the ball out of the air before sidestepping a Chiefs defender and prancing the final few yards into the end zone. The former XFL star finished with three receptions for 37 yards and the score as he capped off his first full NFL season on a high note.
The Chiefs continued to march down the field in small chunks on their second drive of the game that stretched into the start of the second quarter. Darwin Thompson capped it off with a one-yard score to put Kansas City back on top 14-7.
Things looked like they started to turn downwards for the Chargers when they were forced to punt after only five plays down seven points. They got an incredibly lucky bounce in their favor when wideout Mecole Hardman let the punt bounce in and out of his hands which was eventually recovered by Joe Reed at the Kansas City 17-yard line. Four plays later, Herbert hit Austin Ekeler on a quick screen before RB1 bowled over two defenders and into the end zone.
The receiving score marked Ekeler’s 16th touchdown through the air which broke the franchise record for a running back previously held by the Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson.
A forced three-and-out by the Chargers on the next drive led to another strong drive by the offense which marched 15 plays all the way the KC two-yard line. Justin Herbert attempted a QB sneak on fourth down and fell just inches short of the end zone, resulting in a turnover-on-downs.
Two plays later, Isaac Rochell sacked Henne in the Chiefs end zone to force a safety which gave the Chargers a 16-14 lead with 1:43 left in the second half.
It only took another three plays before Herbert succeeded on another QB sneak to push their lead to 10 following the successful two point conversion pass to Justin Jackson.
The third quarter was a lot less eventful than the previous one, but it was nontheless memorable. The lone touchdown of the period was a 48-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams who somehow sprinted wide open behind the defense. The touchdown was Herbert’s 36th of the year and was the one to break Cam Newton’s rookie record of 35 total scores that he set back in 2011.
With 47 seconds left in the third, the Bolts held a 31-14 lead.
The Chiefs responded with a nine-play, 74-yard drive that ended with a eight-yard touchdown pass from Henne to Thompson to shrink the lead back down to 10.
The final points of the game came on Los Angeles’ next drive that went 77 yards on six plays. Kalen Ballage got the handoff at the one-yard line and plunged in to solidify the final score of 38-21.