The Los Angeles Chargers open the 2021 season 1-0 with a big-time victory over the Washington Football Team. This was a major test for LA, as WFT’s defense came to play. Justin Herbert showed why he was voted as the 2020 Rookie of the Year, by throwing dimes all game long.
Big Justin Herbert Performances Leads Chargers to Week 1 Win
The Chargers’ opening drive was a thing of beauty. They drove right down the field and Austin Ekeler punched it in from about four yards out. Washington’s defense is one of the best, but the Bolts’ offense sliced right through them like butter. The WFT responded with a drive down the field, but they settled for a field goal. That would pretty much round out the rest of the first quarter, with a Chargers 7-3 lead.
Herbert became the only quarterback in NFL history to complete 400 passes in just 16 games; another remarkable honor for the rising star. Despite the honor, the rest of the half didn’t live up to the first drive for LA. The offense played well, but couldn’t convert for a touchdown when they entered the red zone. The Chargers rounded out the half settling for two field goals from Tristan Vizianco.
Justin Herbert started out hot, but couldn’t connect late in the half. He finished the half 19-27 for 179 yards. Head coach Brandon Staley wasn’t kidding when he said that the Bolts would be airing it out this season.
WFT quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick left the game with a hip injury and became questionable for return. Backup Taylor Heinicke replaced Fitzpatrick to finish the half.
The Los Angeles Chargers led 13-9 at the break.
Washington started the second half with aggression. They marched down the field and Heinicke found Logan Thomas for the easy touchdown. WFT had their first lead of the game, 16-13. Since Heinicke entered the game, WFT started to find more success.
The Los Angeles Chargers would start the second half with another long drive to the goal line. A great play by the WFT defense forced a Chargers turnover. Herbert attempted a pass but it was tipped as he was throwing. Herbert’s arm was clearly in a forward motion, but the refs decided it was a fumble and a touchback as it rolled into the back of the end zone.
It seemed as if the WFT would run away with it, but instead, the Bolts would finally catch a break. WFT running back Antonio Gibson fumbled on his own five-yard line and the Chargers would recover. Two plays later, Herbert found Mike Williams for the back-shoulder grab in the end zone. The Bolts retook the lead, 20-16.
That score would be the last of the game. The Bolts defense held their ground and wouldn’t let Washington come back. Herbert and the offense would come out and finish off a crucial seven-minute drive to win the game. The offense played extremely well all game, and they deserved to come out on top.
Chargers vs Washington Stats
Los Angeles Chargers:
Justin Herbert – 31-47 for 337 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Austin Ekeler – 15 carries for 57 yards, 1 TD
Keenan Allen – 9 receptions for 100 yards
Mike Williams – 8 catches for 82 yards, 1 TD
Jared Cook – 5 receptions for 56 yards
Washington Football Team:
Taylor Heinicke – 11-15 122 yards, 1 TD
Antonio Gibson – 20 carries for 90 yards
Terry McLaurin – 4 catches for 62 yards
Logan Thomas – 3 catches for 30 yards, 1 TD
The next game for the Chargers is against the Cowboys next Sunday in LA. This will be the first game at SoFi Stadium in front of fans for the Chargers.
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