The Chargers beat the Texans in nail-biting fashion, 34-24.
To recap the game, here is everything to know.
It was over when...
….With 2:28 remaining, Justin Herbert connected with a wide-open Austin Ekeler on a play-action bootleg. Ekeler scampered his way into the end zone from 14 yards out to extend the Chargers’ lead to 10.
Justin Herbert still showed signs of nursing his rib injury as he escaped the pocket and resorted to checking the ball down when he had receivers open down the field at times. But Herbert still had some great throws to the intermediate parts of the field, largely due to the solid protection all day.
The return of Corey Linsley, who was nursing an ankle injury the past two weeks, was a factor. Rookie Jamaree Salyer got the start at left tackle and proved that he will be a mainstay while Rashawn Slater is out with a ruptured bicep. Salyer showed great body control, balance, and strength to keep Texans rushers at bay.
After a quiet performance last weekend, Mike Williams had a bounce-back game. Williams ran more shallow crosser routes and Herbert took advantage of that. Herbert and Gerald Everett continue to build chemistry. Everett had five catches on six targets for 61 yards and a touchdown.
Michael Bandy was promoted to the active roster while Keenan Allen remained out for the third-straight game. When Joshua Palmer went out for a bit, Bandy came in and took advantage of his limited opportunities. The summer standout turned his two targets into catches for 49 yards.
The Chargers finally had a decent day running the football, with Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley taking advantage of their rushes. Still, despite proving to be efficient, Kelley was limited to just four carries, while Sony Michel got six and turned them into a measly 11 yards (1.8 yards per carry).
I thought the Chargers did a great job of getting pressure on Davis Mills, all without Joey Bosa, who was out with a groin injury. They pressured Mills 17 times, hit him ten times, and sacked him four times. Brandon Staley did a good job designing twists/stunts, pressure packages and scheming 1-on-1s.
I don’t know if J.C. Jackson is still nursing his ankle, but he did not play well today. Jackson was called for a holding penalty. He missed a tackle on Jordan Akins, which led to a 30-yard gain. Nico Collins beat him for a 58-yard catch.
The Chargers’ defense in the second half gave a scare. But that doesn’t mark the first time they have. Los Angeles has given up 16, 13, 27, and now, 17 second-half points this season. The offense, on the other hand, became conservative. Three of their four punts came in the second half.
3 stars of the game
WR Mike Williams: 7 catches, 120 yards
RB Austin Ekeler: 109 total yards, three touchdowns
LT Jamaree Salyer: 0 pressures allowed
The Chargers travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns on Oct. 9 at 10:00 am PT.