Chargers improve to 5-3 with 20-17 victory over Falcons
At certain points on Sunday, it seemed like both the Chargers and Falcons were going to give the game away.
But Los Angeles ended up pulling out a 20-17 victory with Cameron Dicker sending a 37-yard field goal through the uprights as time expired.
Dicker almost didn’t get the opportunity — and there’s an argument to be made that he shouldn’t have. On third-and-4 with 46 seconds remaining, running back Austin Ekeler fumbled a carry. The ball was scooped up by defensive lineman Ta’Quon Graham, who then returned it to the Atlanta 36. But then Graham fumbled, with the ball inexplicably falling out of his hand as he cradled it. Chargers guard Matt Feiler recovered the loose ball, giving L.A. the ball back and a chance to win it.
Quarterback Justin Herbert got the club back into field-goal range with a 22-yard pass to Joshua Palmer. And Dicker sent his 37-yard attempt through for the game-winning score.
Herbert finished 30-of-43 for 245 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Palmer had eight catches for 106 yards, as the Chargers were playing without both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. Ekeler had 47 yards rushing, 24 yards receiving, and two touchdowns.
On the other side, the Falcons dominated the first and third quarters but couldn’t sustain much in the second and fourth. Receiver Drake London had a ball ripped from his hands in the third quarter that halted a scoring drive — though the Falcons were able to get the ball back with an interception.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota also missed a few open receivers for big gains, showing some limitations. He finished the game 12-of-23 for 129 yards with no touchdowns or picks.
In his first game back from injury, Cordarrelle Patterson had a pair of touchdowns and 44 yards rushing. Tight end Kyle Pitts was the leading receiver, but he caught just two passes on seven targets for 27 yards.
Next week, the 5-3 Chargers head to Santa Clara to play the 4-4 49ers, who are coming off their bye.
Now at 4-5, the Falcons have a quick turnaround to play the Panthers on the road on Thursday night.