Eagles vs. Chargers score: Justin Herbert outduels Jalen Hurts as Los Angeles hits late
A showdown between two of the game’s young, talented quarterbacks went to the rising superstar in Justin Herbert. Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles gave Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers everything they could handle, but Herbert took advantage of having the ball last — driving Los Angeles to a game-winning field goal by Dustin Hopkins in the final seconds to give the Chargers a crucial victory at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday night.
The Chargers got the ball back with six minutes left and made sure Hurts never earned the opportunity to match Herbert, who led the Chargers on a 14-play, 69-yard drive to set up Hopkins for a game-winning 29-yard field goal with two seconds left on the clock. Herbert — who finished 32 of 38 for 356 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions (123.2 rating) — finished 5 of 6 for 37 yards on the final drive. He also converted a quarterback sneak on fourth-and-one to extend the drive.
Hurts had one of the finest performances of the season in the second half, going 7 of 8 for 112 yards with a touchdown to keep the Eagles on pace with the high-octane Chargers offense. Hurts was accurate on his throws as Philadelphia responded from 16-10 and 24-17 deficits — finding DeVonta Smith for a 28-yard touchdown with 6:08 remaining to tie the game at 24-24. Smith finished with five catches for 116 yards and a touchdown in the loss, recording his first receiving touchdown since Week 1 and his second 100-yard game of the year.
Philadelphia gashed Los Angeles on the ground to stay in the game, finishing with 39 carries for 176 yards in the contest — the second straight game the Eagles ran for 175 yards. Jordan Howard had 10 carries for 71 yards and Hurts finished with 10 carries for 62 yards. Hurts finished 11 of 17 for 162 yards and a touchdown (115.3 rating).
Why the Chargers won
The Chargers were able to throw at will against the Eagles, taking what the defense gave them in the win. Justin Herbert completed 84.2% of his passes — and one of them was a spike — taking all the easy completions and moving the chains for Los Angeles as the Chargers didn’t punt the entire game. Herbert was 17 of 20 for 205 yards with a touchdown and a rushing touchdown in the second half, finding his tight ends throughout the afternoon in a game where the deep ball was essentially taken away from him.
The Chargers scored on all four of their second-half possessions. This was the bounce-back game Herbert and the offense needed.
Why the Eagles lost
Nick Sirianni didn’t deserve this loss, as his defensive coordinator and his passive scheme failed the Eagles head coach. Jonathan Gannon dialed up the blitzes and played his defensive backs up against Detroit last week, but went back to his old bag of tricks against an elite quarterback in Herbert — and was torched.
Herbert wasn’t blitzed much and had easy completions, paving the way to only have six incomplete passes on the day and throw for 356 yards. The Chargers totaled 253 yards in the second half and scored 20 points on four possessions — a huge failure for a team that played well against a good team. The Eagles are a better defensive team than this, but the scheme is setting them up to be on the field too long. Philadelphia wears down as the game goes on.
The Chargers didn’t have many opportunities to go deep in the game, but Mike Williams had the game’s most impressive catch when Herbert targeted him. Darius Slay had blanket coverage on Williams when Herbert rolled to his right and threw to Williams on a post to his left.
The throw was great. The catch was even better — only where Williams could snag it.
This catch was “play of the game” worthy, especially since the score was 10-10 in the third quarter. The Chargers scored a touchdown three plays later to take a 16-10 lead, forcing the Eagles to play catch up in a track meet with them for the rest of the game.
Play of the game
While Austin Ekeler’s run wasn’t much on the stat sheet, it set up Dustin Hopkins to convert a chip shot field goal and give the Chargers the victory. Los Angeles had already killed clock to set Hopkins up to kick the winner, but Ekeler left no doubts on his 16-yard run with 21 seconds left.
The Chargers were at the Eagles’ 27-yard line and set up to kick a 45-yard field goal for the win. Ekeler’s run made the kick 29 yards for the win with two seconds to play. Prior to Ekeler’s run, he had just 16 carries for 43 yards — showcasing how valuable his run was toward snatching a crucial road victory.
“That was very tough.” — Jalen Hurts on not getting the ball at the end of the game.
As well as Hurts played, he didn’t get the opportunity to get the ball back after his touchdown pass to DeVonta Smith with 6:07 left. The Chargers controlled the clock as the Eagles defense failed to get off the field and give Hurts the opportunity to win the game. Hurts’ final play was the touchdown pass.
The Eagles (3-6) will head west to face the Denver Broncos next Sunday, the final time they play an AFC West team in the regular season. The Chargers (5-3) head home to face the Minnesota Vikings next Sunday.