Instant analysis: Chargers defeat Washington 20-16

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The Los Angeles Chargers defeated the Washington Football Team, 20-16, in Week 1 of NFL action.

Washington seemingly had all the momentum in the third quarter after quarterback Taylor Heinicke found tight end Logan Thomas for an 11-yard touchdown to give the Football Team a 16-13 lead.

Unfortunately, Washington’s defense was atrocious on third down, allowing the Chargers to convert on 14 of 19 third downs. Washington’s vaunted pass rush could only muster one sack of Los Angeles quarterback Justin Herbert, who completed 31 of 47 passes for 337 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Herbert made very few mistakes on the day. His lone interception in the second half was one of those mistakes, but his defense got the ball back for him on the next play forcing an Antonio Gibson fumble to give the Chargers a 1st-and-goal from inside the five-yard line.

Herbert would then find wide receiver Mike Williams to give the Chargers a 20-16 lead, which were the game’s final points.

Gibson would rush for 90 yards on 20 carries. His fumble was a turning point in the game.

Heinicke, who came in the game in relief of injured starter Ryan Fitzpatrick in the second quarter, completed 11 of 15 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown. His feet changed the momentum of the game for a brief time. Unfortunately, Gibson’s fumble and Washington’s third-down defense proved too much to overcome for Heinicke.

Washington, 0-1, must now get ready for NFC East rival, then New York Giants, on a short week as the two teams play on Thursday night at FedEx Field.