Justin Herbert has 3 TDs, Chargers beat Eagles 27-24

Sports

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts warms up before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Christmas Day
December 25 2021 12:00 am

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Justin Herbert faced the perfect defense to rebound from two subpar games.

Herbert threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score, and Dustin Hopkins made a 29-yard field goal with 2 seconds remaining, leading the Los Angeles Chargers to a 27-24 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

Herbert completed 32 of 38 passes for 356 yards. He got 1 yard on a sneak on fourth-and-1 from the Eagles 28 with 1:45 left, setting up Hopkins’ kick.

“Justin was patient today, he was etxremely accurate, he played with good timing and our offensive line had a lot do with that,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said. “Justin was outstanding.”

Herbert became the fifth quarterback this season to complete more than 80% of his passes against the Eagles, joining Dak Prescott, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady and Derek Carr.

“Watching them on film, they play really tough defense,” Herbert said. “They have really good cover guys. It was one of those games you get in a rhythm and the offensive line gives you enough time to throw, and especially when you get guys on the outside like we do, it makes my job so much easier.”

In losses to Baltimore and New England the previous two games, Herbert was 40 for 74 for 418 yards with three TDs and three interceptions. It was the first time in his two-year career he had two straight games with a passer rating under 70.

“It’s the NFL, they’re all tough games” Herbert said. “It’s all about how you handle adversity. Every game is a tough game and you have to have your best.”

The Chargers (5-3) snapped a two-game losing streak. The Eagles (3-6) still haven’t won a home game in four tries under rookie coach Nick Sirianni.

“These are the games you have to have on the road,” Staley said. “You have to be able to win without some of your guys.”

The teams traded touchdowns on four straight drives in the second half before the final series.

Los Angeles went ahead 16-10 on Herbert’s 8-yard TD pass to Donald Parham Jr., but Hopkins missed the extra point. The Eagles quickly answered with Kenneth Gainwell running in from the 1 to take a 17-16 lead. Hurts completed 3 of 4 passes on that drive for 63 yards. He was 4 of 9 for 54 yards to that point.

Herbert then ran in from the 8 and connected with Jared Cook on the 2-point conversion to make it 24-17.

But Hurts drove Philadelphia back down the field and fired a 28-yard TD pass to DeVonta Smith to tie at 24-24 with 6:07 left.

Smith had five catches for 116 yards. It was the second 100-yard game for the rookie and 10th overall draft pick.

Facing the NFL’s worst run defense, the Eagles took advantage. They had 176 yards rushing, including 62 from Hurts.

Herbert tossed a 2-yard TD pass to Stephen Anderson to give the Chargers a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter. Herbert drove the Chargers 98 yards on their first possession without scoring. His 1-yard pass to Keenan Allen on fourth down from the 2 turned it over on downs.

The Chargers again went on fourth-and-2 in the second quarter. Joshua Kelley was stopped after a 1-yard gain at the Eagles 26.

COACHING CONNECTIONS

Sirianni spent five seasons as an assistant coach with the Chargers. Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen was an assistant with the Chargers for nine of the previous 10 seasons before joining Sirianni’s staff in Philadelphia. Staley turned down an interview with the Eagles to take the job in Los Angeles.

CAN’T TOUCH THIS

Joey Bosa sacked Hurts in the third quarter without touching him. Bosa pushed right guard Jack Driscoll into Hurts, knocking him down.

INJURIES

Chargers: CB Ryan Smith limped off the field in the fourth quarter. Starting CBs Asante Samuel Jr. (concussion) and Michael Davis (hamstring) were inactive.

Eagles: CB Darius Slay (right hamstring) left in the fourth quarter. CB Avonte Maddox (knee) didn’t finish the game.

UP NEXT

Chargers: host the Minnesota Vikings (3-5) next Sunday.

Eagles: visit the Denver Broncos (5-4) next Sunday.

___

Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter at https://twitter.com/robmaaddi and his work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/robmaaddi

___

More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.