Finally, the LA Chargers played a game that not only finished with a score margin larger than one touchdown, but they ended up on the right side of the final score!
On Sunday night, the Chargers rolled the Chicago Bears to the tune of 30-13 behind Justin Herbert’s 294-yard and three-touchdown performance. The defense was stingy, but that’s what should happen when you’re playing a rookie quarterback who is less than a year removed from leading a Division II program.
The win brought the Chargers’ record to 3-4 with a chance now in Week Nine to bring their record back to .500. Bit first, they have to get past the Jets who beat the Giants earlier on Sunday to move to 4-3.
For the compete quarter-by-quarter recap of today’s game, continue on below!
The Chargers won the toss and chose to defer.
With nothing but an unrealistic confidence in himself, Bears quarterback Tyson Bagent launched a deep ball up the right sideline on the very first play of the game. It wound up complete for 41 yards to Darnell Mooney who also drew a pass interference penalty from Asante Samuel Jr. who was in coverage.
The Chargers defense said enough was enough and immediately shut down the drive with a big tackle for loss by Khalil Mack on a jet sweep and then a third-down sack by Joey Bosa.
Justin Herbert got the offense on a roll with three consecutive completions to Keenan Allen to begin the drive. The offense then leaned on the run and screen game with Austin Ekeler headlining the drive with a 39-yard screen pass he took for the game’s first touchdown. He caught two passes for 54 yards on the drive with a couple strong runs.
With an early 7-0 lead, the Chargers forced another quick drive aided by a pair of penalties against Bears center Lucas Patrick. When the Bears punted it back to LA, Chicago interfered with Darius Davis’ fair catch attempt which gave the Chargers 15 yards tacked on to where the foul occurred.
Several plays into the drive, Joshua Palmer was tackled on a slant route in which the defender dropped his body weight on the back of his legs. Palmer stayed down in obvious pain before limping off the field and into the medical tent. Five plays later, Herbert found a crossing Simi Fehoko for the short score. It was Fehoko’s first touchdown of his NFL career and put the Bolts up 14-0 in the first period.
The Bears looked to be gaining momentum on their third drive of the game behind some strong running by Roschon Johnson and D’Onta Foreman. But on third-and-8 from the Chargers’ 45-yard line, Bagent threw a wild pass over the head of a receiver and into the waiting arms of Ja’Sir Taylor.
Los Angeles moved 32 yards in eight plays before settling for a field goal. The Chargers were actually lucky as Herbert threw a third-down pass directly at a Bears defensive lineman who dropped late into coverage in front of Donald Parham. The trench players aren’t known for their hands which led to the Bolts lucking out on his dropped pick.
The Bears finally broke through onto the scoreboard with a 11-yard touchdown run by Darrynton Evans. The Chargers got caught without edge protection and the Bears running back went nearly untouched into the end zone. With under two minutes remaining, the Chargers led 17-10.
Herbert and Co. responded with their third touchdown drive of the game, this one ending in a passing touchdown to Parham who broke multiple tackles before falling across the line. The Chargers headed into the locker room with a 24-7 lead.
The Chargers received the opening kickoff of the second half and proceeded to burn a good chunk of the quarter away with a 10-play, 40-yard drove which lasted a little over six minutes. The drive stall after a holding penalty on Rashawn Slater but it was salvaged by Cameron Dicker’s 53-yard field goal to push the Chargers’ lead to 20.
After the Chargers defense stopped Chicago on another quick drive, the Chargers were shut down for their first three-and-out of the game on their next possession.
Needing to score points as fast as possible to minimize the Chargers’ lead, the Bears went for it on fourth-and-short inside their own territory. Joey Bosa blasted through tight end Cole Kmet to secure the turnover on downs. Unfortunately, the Bolts couldn’t gain a first down despite the sudden change situation which led to Cameron Dicker’s third field goal of the night. With several minutes remaining the period, the Chargers led 30-7.
The Bears and Chargers traded turnovers on downs to begin the fourth quarter. Ekeler was short on a fourth-and-one run deep in Bears territory after the Chargers attempted to run behind TE Tre’ McKitty and swing tackle Foster Sarell. Since he was short, the holding penalty called on McKitty was voided and the Bears immediately took over.
Still looking for points, Bagent stayed aggressive as a passer. On fourth-and-3, Bagent threw a pass over the middle to Darnell Mooney but Alohi Gilman broke up the pass which landed in the arms of Derwin James. Unfortunately, Ekeler was stripped on a screen just several plays into the drive to give the Bears the ball in their territory.
When the Bears took over, the Chargers chose to send out their backup defense with under five minutes remaining in regulation.
The Bears finally got back into the end zone on a “tush push” quarterback sneak but a failed two-point try kept the score at 30-13.
The Chargers ran most of the clock out behind Isaiah Spiller before the Bears knelt the rest.
Justin Herbert finished with 294 yards on 31-of-40 passing with three touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Austin Ekeler led the ground game with just 29 yards but had a team-high 90 receiving yards and one touchdown. Keenan Allen was second with 69 yards on a team-high eight receptions. Quentin Johnston also had a career-high five receptions and 50 yards.
Eric Kendricks led the Chargers defense with 10 tackles to go with a pass breakup. Joey Bosa recorded the Chargers’ lone sack of the night.
The Chargers will play on Monday Night Football next week against the Jets at MetLife Stadium.