NFL Game Recap - Carolina at LA Chargers
Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:05 PM EDT

MIA
31
JAX
13
F
HOU
21
PIT
28
F
CIN
23
PHI
23
F OT
SF
36
NYG
9
F
LV
20
NE
36
F
TEN
31
MIN
30
F
WAS
20
CLE
34
F
LAR
32
BUF
35
F
CHI
30
ATL
26
F
CAR
21
LAC
16
F
NYJ
7
IND
36
F
DAL
31
SEA
38
F
TB
28
DEN
10
F
DET
26
ARI
23
F
GB
37
NO
30
F
KC
34
BAL
20
F

Sep 27, 2020, 4:05 PM EDT

Final

1

2

3

4

T

Carolina (1-2)

6

12

0

3

21

LA Chargers (1-2)

0

7

3

6

16

Panthers beat Chargers 21-16 for Rhule's first NFL victory
Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:58 PM

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) Carolina was missing Christian McCaffrey, but got big efforts on defense and special teams to give coach Matt Rhule his first NFL victory.

The Panthers forced three Los Angeles turnovers and Joey Slye kicked five field goals in a 21-16 win over the Chargers on Sunday.

"It was huge, especially coming on the road, creating your own energy. And the defense did just that," said Teddy Bridgewater, who was 22 of 28 for 235 yards and a touchdown. "Of course you want to turn turnovers into seven points instead of field goals. But the defense created those turnovers and created energy and we fed off those guys."

Carolina snapped a 10-game losing streak dating to last season. It came down to the final play, with the Chargers in position for a go-ahead touchdown in the final seconds.

"When it comes down to the wire, it's like relief," Rhule said. "For some of these guys it has been 10 straight losses. ... That can start to weigh on you. It was an ugly win, but a win nonetheless."

The Panthers had not recorded a sack and allowed 65 points in their first two games but looked like a different unit. They sacked Justin Herbert twice and converted three turnovers into 12 points.

"Guys came (here) to rush. That's how I see it. Guys knew we had a rookie quarterback. He did a good job. ... But going into this week the preparation was get after the quarterback, get after the quarterback and perfect our (pass rush) moves," said defensive end Brian Burns, who had a sack.

The Panthers (1-2) averaged 3.9 yards per carry without the All-Pro McCaffrey, who will miss at least two more games with a high ankle sprain. Mike Davis had 91 scrimmage yards (46 rushing, 45 receiving) and a touchdown.

"The first two games we felt like we weren't really playing as we should," Davis said. "This week we wanted to be physical and just play for each other. That's all it was."

The Chargers have dropped two straight after winning their opener at Cincinnati.

Herbert became the third quarterback since the merger to throw for 300 yards in his first two starts. The rookie was 35 of 49 for 330 yards and a touchdown, but also had a fumble and an interception.

Los Angeles still had a chance to win at the end. After forcing Carolina to punt, the Chargers took over on the LA 1 with 1:43 remaining. They drove to the Carolina 28 before the drive stalled. Herbert had Keenan Allen open in the end zone with 6 seconds left but Tre Boston broke it up.

On the final play, Allen caught the ball at the Carolina 15, but his lateral to Austin Ekeler was too high.

"I'm disappointed in the loss. Those are games that you'd love to win, but turn the ball over three times, you can't expect to win," Herbert said.

Allen had 13 receptions for 136 yards and a TD while Ekeler had 159 scrimmage yards (59 rushing, 80 receiving) and a score.

After going three-and-out on its opening possession, Carolina scored on five consecutive drives in the first half. Four ended with field goals by Slye.

Tahir Whitehead recovered Herbert's fumble after a sack by Burns to set up Slye's second field goal.

The Chargers took a 7-6 lead early in the second quarter when Ekeler ran it from around right end from 12 yards. Carolina regained the lead on the ensuing possession when Slye connected from 30 yards.

The Panthers got their only touchdown after a Chargers turnover. They took over at the Carolina 43 after Shaq Thompson recovered Joshua Kelley's fumble and scored in eight plays. Mike Davis caught Bridgewater's screen pass and went 13 yards to the end zone. Nasir Adderley blocked Slye's extra-point attempt to keep Carolina's lead at 15-7.

It looked like it was going to remain that way going into halftime before Donte Jackson intercepted Herbert's pass intended for Allen and returned it 66 yards to the LA 8. Two plays later, Slye was good from 22 yards.

"We knew they were going to bring more pressure. They hadn't made it to the quarterback, so we were expecting them to bring pressure," Charges coach Anthony Lynn said. "They beat us around the edge and got a turnover. But for the most part, I thought we got the ball out on time and handled the pressure well."

The teams traded field goals in the second half before Herbert brought the Chargers within 21-16 with a 14-yard strike to Allen with 4:39 remaining. The 2-point attempt failed.

RECORD BOOK

Allen moved into third place in receptions in franchise history, surpassing Kellen Winslow's 541. Allen has 548 receptions in his eighth season.

Hall of Famer Charlie Joiner is second with 586 and Antonio Gates is the franchise leader with 955 catches in 16 seasons (2003-18).

Allen has 24 100-yard receiving games, tying Winslow for second.

INJURIES

Panthers: CB Donte Jackson (toe) was injured during the second half and did not return.

Chargers: CB Chris Harris (ankle), OT Bryan Bulaga (back) and WR Mike Williams (hamstring) were injured in the second half and did not return.

UP NEXT

Panthers: Host Arizona next Sunday.

Chargers: Have two straight on road, beginning next Sunday against Tampa Bay.

---

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Passing

CAR Att Cmp % TD-Pa Yds-Pa LgPa Int Rat Sk
T. Bridgewater 28 22 78.6 1 235 38 0 113.5 2
LAC Att Cmp % TD-Pa Yds-Pa LgPa Int Rat Sk
J. Herbert 49 35 71.4 1 330 28 1 88.0 2

Rushing

CAR Att Yds-Ru Avg LgRu TD-Ru
M. Davis 13 46 3.5 25 0
R. Bonnafon 2 16 8.0 13 0
LAC Att Yds-Ru Avg LgRu TD-Ru
A. Ekeler 12 59 4.9 12 1
J. Kelley 8 43 5.4 16 0

Receiving

CAR Rec Yds-Rc Avg LgRc TD-Rc
D. Moore 2 65 32.5 38 0
R. Anderson 5 55 11.0 18 0
LAC Rec Yds-Rc Avg LgRc TD-Rc
K. Allen 13 132 10.2 22 1
A. Ekeler 11 84 7.6 28 0

Team Stats Comparison

CAR LAC
Points For 21 16
Total Yards 302 436
Rushing Yards 81 117
Passing Yards 221 319
Passing Completions / Attempts 22/28 35/49
Turnovers 0 4
Interceptions Thrown 0 1
Fumbles - Lost 0/0 4/3
First Downs 14 26
Rushing Touchdowns 0 1
Passing Touchdowns 1 1
Penalties - Yards 3/30 8/60
Time Of Possession 28:49 31:11
Third Down Conversions/Attempts 3/12 10/15
Fourth Down Conversions/Attempts 0/0 0/0
Red Zone Conversions/Attempts 1/6 2/3
Sacks Against 2 2
Punts - Average Yards 4/47 3/40
Punt Returns - Average Yards/Punt Return 1/8 2/5
Kickoff Returns - Average Yards/Kickoff Return 1/35 1/23

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter CAR LAC
CAR 5:40 FG Joey Slye 29 yd FG 3 0
CAR 10:32 FG Joey Slye 24 yd FG 6 0
2nd Quarter CAR LAC
LAC 0:46 TD Austin Ekeler 12 yd run (Michael Badgley kick) 6 7
CAR 6:49 FG Joey Slye 30 yd FG 9 7
CAR 12:02 TD Mike Davis 13 yd pass from Teddy Bridgewater (blocked XP) 15 7
CAR 15:00 FG Joey Slye 22 yd FG 18 7
3rd Quarter CAR LAC
LAC 13:48 FG Michael Badgley 41 yd FG 18 10
4th Quarter CAR LAC
CAR 4:02 FG Joey Slye 31 yd FG 21 10
LAC 10:27 TD Keenan Allen 14 yd pass from Justin Herbert (failed 2pt Pass from Justin Herbert) 21 16

Game Information

Stadium: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California
Attendance: 0
Game Time: 3:04
Weather: