INGLEWOOD, California – Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers showed early in the season they can come together to win tight road games.
On Sunday, they won a savage shootout in front of their home fans.
Herbert posted his 11th record-breaking 300-yard game with 398 passing yards and tied a career-high four touchdowns as the Chargers rallied for a 47-42 victory over the Cleveland Browns.
“To win a game like this, which turns into a track and field competition, you have to have a superstar quarterback to win it. That’s what he is, “said coach Brandon Staley.” Like I told the team there, the reason he’s able to play like he’s able to play is because that he has a very good team around him. “
The game saw a tie and eight lead changes – four in the last 15 minutes when the teams combined for 41 points.
Herbert, who has the most 300-yard games by a quarterback in his first two years in the league, has compared it to a college football shootout.
“I thought it was a lot of fun to be a part of it. The defense made big saves when we needed them and the offense fell and scored, ”said Herbert, who completed 26 of 43 passes and also ran for a score.
Austin Ekeler had three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including a 3-yard scorecard with 1:31 remaining for go-ahead points. Mike Williams tallied 165 receiving yards and caught two touchdown passes for the Chargers, in their first 4-1 start since 2014
Los Angeles, led by first-year coach Staley, have won three in a row and lead the AFC West after losses to Denver and Las Vegas.
Nick Chubb rushed for 161 yards for Cleveland (3-2). Baker Mayfield enjoyed his 10th career 300-yard passing game on his 50th start after it was revealed earlier in the week that he had a torn left labrum in his non-throwing shoulder.
According to Elias, the Browns are the first team in NFL history to lose a game in the regular season or playoffs, scoring over 40 points with 500 yards and no turnovers.
Chubb crossed the 100-yard mark for the 19th time in the opening practice of the third quarter with a 52-yard rush to take Cleveland’s lead to 27-13 before the Chargers rallied.
“We didn’t make enough games to win the game, and that goes for everyone on our team. We haven’t, “said Mayfield, who was 23 of 32 for 306 yards and two touchdowns.” We haven’t played a complementary game of football yet. “
After Herbert’s 19-yard Ekeler pass score drew the Chargers 42-41 with 3:15 remaining, Tristan Vizcaino missed his second extra point of the game.
Cleveland went three and out on his possession that followed, setting up the winning drive in five games and 48 yards. Herbert connected with Jared Cook for a 29-yard completion at the Browns 18-yard line. Four games later, Ekeler entered the end zone.
The Chargers were 3 for 3 on the fourth down, and the offense is perfect on all seven occasions. Unofficially, they were 4 for 4 after AJ Green of Cleveland was called up for pass interference to give the Chargers a first try over the Browns 26.
Browns defensive end Myles Garrett was not happy with the penalty.
“It was terrible,” Garrett said. “You saw pictures. You’ve seen videos. It was a terrible call. Referees are humans and they make mistakes. We are held to a high standard and a high degree of excellence and they should be too.
Ekeler tried to stop before the goal line so Los Angeles could burn more time and possibly win on a last second score. But Cleveland defensive players pushed Ekeler into the end zone.
Staley said he needed some extra interpretation on this piece; the league officials’ office said there was no rule against helping a player in the end zone.
Browns safety John Johnson said Cleveland had practiced this before and it was good situational awareness.
Ekeler said he had a stomach ache after scoring.
“I felt like I literally could have blown up the game if the defense hadn’t been able to stop. So thanks to the defense for getting that save because I’m sure we were just going to try to hold on and then hit a basket with the last few seconds of the game, ”said Ekeler, who finished with 119 yards of scrimmage. (66 rushing yards, 53 receiving).
Williams had been a deep threat to the Chargers for the past two seasons, but had become a short range receiver in the new offense. That was not the case on Sunday when he had a career record 72 touching yards in the second quarter.
After Herbert’s 9-yard goalie and 2-point conversion brought the Bolts down to 27-21, the Chargers regained the lead when Williams was left wide open for 42 yards.
Cleveland coach Kevin Stefanski attributed the two long touchdowns to broken covers.
“It’s obviously a misunderstanding and we’ve had too many. They had big games. They supported us on some broken games, they had DPI, so we have to do a better job, “he said.
BRAND OF THE CENTURY
Browns tight end David Njoku had 149 receiving yards, including a 71-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter that temporarily put Cleveland in front of 35-28. He is the first Browns tight end since Gary Barnidge in 2015 to reach over 100 yards.
Browns: Rookie linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah suffered a bruised throat and was rushed to a local hospital after the game according to a team spokesperson as a precaution and for further evaluation. … Cleveland was already slim in high school with CB rookie Greg Newsome II inactive. It got even worse when cornerbacks Denzel Ward (neck) and Greedy Williams (right shoulder) were injured in the first half and did not return. The Browns also missed both starting tackles after right tackle Jack Conklin injured his knee in the third quarter. S MJ Stewart suffered a hamstring injury in the second half and did not return. … Ward, Conklin, Williams and safety MJ Stewart (right hamstring) will undergo MRI scans on Monday.
Chargers: G Oday Aboushi injured his knee in the first quarter and did not return. Staley said Aboushi was under further evaluation.
Browns: Host the Arizona Cardinals next Sunday.
Chargers: Hit the road to face the Baltimore Ravens next Sunday.
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