Eagles can’t stop Chargers, fall on last-second field goal

Chargers Eagles Week 9
Los Angeles Chargers tight end Donald Parham (89) scores a touchdown past Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Davion Taylor (52) during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Dustin Hopkins hit a game-winning 29-yard field goal with two seconds remaining to lift the Los Angeles Chargers (5-3) to a 27-24 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles (3-6) on Sunday evening at Lincoln Financial Field.

After the Eagles tied the game at 24 apiece with 6:07 left to play, the Chargers embarked on a 15-play, 64-yard drive that ate up 6:05 and included two 4th-&-short conversions to run out the clock and set up the chance for a game-winning field goal with virtually no time left.

Los Angeles was able to move the ball at will throughout the second half, recording 20 of their 27 points in the final 30 minutes of action.

Chargers second-year quarterback Justin Herbert was nearly perfect, completing 32-of-38 passes for 356 yards and two touchdowns. It was just enough to get past an Eagles offense that was committed to running the ball against one of the worst ground defenses in the league but was highlighted by rookie wide receiver DeVonta Smith’s big day in which he reeled in five catches for 116 yards and a touchdown.

It accounted for a majority of Jalen Hurts’ 162 passing yards on Sunday while the Eagles picked up 176 yards on the ground.

After an opening punt, the Eagles allowed the Chargers to drive 98 yards on 11 plays down to the 2-yard-line, but the defense came up big — keeping Los Angeles out of the end zone four straight times to force a turnover on downs.

Another punt allowed the Chargers to capitalize on the early momentum they wrestled from the hosts, needing just six plays to go 38 yards to get on the board with 50 seconds to go in the opening quarter. Back at the 2-yard-line, Herbert hit tight end Stephen Anderson on the right side for the score.

After gaining just 31 yards on their first two drives, the Eagles’ offense spun together a 10-play, 75-yard drive that was sparked by a 27-yard reception to Smith but fueled by the ground game.

The final six plays of the drive were runs, ending with a four-yard Jordan Howard touchdown up the middle to tie things up just 3:40 into the second quarter.

Los Angeles came right back down into Eagles territory with another chance for points, but a decision to go for it on 4th-&-2 from the Eagles’ 27-yard-line was snuffed out when running back Joshua Kelley was stuffed a yard short for another Chargers turnover on downs.

The Eagles went back to the run, stressing a ground game that featured runs dialed up on 19 of 21 plays during the second quarter.

It remained plenty effective as the Eagles unleashed a methodical 15-play, 68-yard drive to get down to the Chargers’ 6-yard-line before things stalled out, forcing them to settle for a field goal with 24 seconds to go before halftime. Of those 15 plays before the field goal, 13 of them were runs.

The Chargers quickly overturned their slim deficit by scoring nine points unanswered to start the third quarter. A field goal on their opening drive of the half was answered by an eight-yard touchdown pass from Herbert to Donald Parham, though a missed extra point ensured the Eagles trailed by six with 6:44 to go in the frame.

Philadelphia reverted back to the pass on their ensuing drive, quickly getting into the red zone after 23 and 19-yard completions to Smith before hitting Dallas Goedert for 21 yards to get to the Chargers’ 17-yard-line.

Four plays later, they had the lead with 3:10 to go after Kenneth Gainwell punched it in from a yard out before Jake Elliott converted the extra point.

Back came Los Angeles, though, in a drive that featured Darius Slay departing with a hamstring injury after he was burned by Mike Williams and called for defensive holding.

After turning around a 2nd-&-17 just inside their own territory, Herbert hooked up with Keenan Allen twice for 26 yards to get the Chargers rolling again. It was Herbert who relied on his legs rather than his arm, though, to regain the lead, scrambling in from eight yards out to take the lead with 11:32 to go in regulation. A successful two-point conversion gave the Chargers a seven-point lead.

It evaporated within five-and-a-half minutes after Hurts led a 10-play, 78-yard drive that finished off with a 28-yard touchdown to Smith down the right side

But the Chargers’ offense went right back to work and were in Eagles’ territory within a flash. With 2:48 to go on the Eagles’ 39-yard-line, Austin Ekeler converted a 4th-&-1 to extend the Los Angeles drive as the visitors looked to land one final hammer blow.

Inside the final two minutes, the Chargers coaxed the Eagles to use all of their timeouts — though the hosts held Los Angeles on a 3rd-&-2, but Brandon Staley opted to go for it, turning to Herbert to pick up the one yard needed for a first down.

It allowed the Chargers to run out the clock as Hopkins nailed the game-winning field goal from 29 yards out to secure the victory.

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