Herbert outduels Tagovailoa as Chargers beat Dolphins to maneuver into playoff spot


INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Brandon Staley knew it was going to take an entire recreation for his Los Angeles Chargers squad to have an opportunity at beating the Miami Dolphins. In entrance of a prime-time viewers, the Bolts responded with certainly one of their finest video games of the season.

Justin Herbert threw for 367 yards and a landing and a short-handed protection obtained the very best of the Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa as Los Angeles beat Miami 23-17 on Sunday evening.

The Chargers (7-6) moved into place for the ultimate AFC playoff berth, forward of the New York Jets. Their maintain although could be short-lived if New England beats Arizona on Monday evening.

“It was an unbelievable workforce win,” Staley mentioned. “Defensively we answered all of the challenges within the recreation that we needed to face. Justin made numerous successful performs and actually made good selections all through the sport.” 

Herbert — the sixth general choose in 2020, one behind Tagovailoa — accomplished a career-high 39 passes on 51 makes an attempt for his twenty first 300-yard recreation. He grew to become the primary NFL quarterback to throw for 13,000 yards in his first three seasons.

“There have been numerous good issues from all three phases. The protection did an unbelievable job,” Herbert mentioned.

Tyreek Hill scored two touchdowns for the Dolphins, certainly one of them on an inconceivable restoration of Jeff Wilson Jr.’s fumble that Hill took 57 yards to the top zone. However Tagovailoa had his worst recreation as an NFL starter, finishing 10 of 28 passes for 145 yards and a landing because the Dolphins (8-5) misplaced their second straight.

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“I might say the defenses that we’ve performed have been taking part in precisely what we’ve anticipated them to play,” Tagovailoa mentioned. “It actually simply goes again to the small print of how we play our offense, and we’re not all dialed in with that.”

The Chargers held Miami to 219 yards regardless of not having security Derwin James, cornerback Bryce Callahan and defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day due to accidents. The Dolphins got here in with the league’s top-ranked go offense.

“We knew he cherished to throw contained in the hashes,” Chargers linebacker Drue Tranquill mentioned. “He was gonna attempt to get Tyreek and Jaylen (Waddle) in on these dagger routes, so we positively packed the center just a little bit and compelled him to attempt to throw it outdoors.”

LA’s offense was buoyed by the return of Mike Williams, who had missed 4 of the final 5 video games with a excessive ankle sprain. Williams had six catches for 116 yards, together with a 10-yard landing whereas getting each toes in bounds close to the again of the top zone to increase the Chargers’ result in 10-0 early within the second quarter.

“I felt fairly good. I simply needed to be accessible for the entire recreation for my workforce, simply make performs and assist us come out with the win,” Williams mentioned.

Austin Ekeler, who completed with 104 scrimmage yards, had a 1-yard run off left deal with on fourth-and-goal with 18 seconds left within the quarter to increase the result in 17-7.

Cameron Dicker kicked three discipline objectives, together with one from 29-yards that gave the Chargers a 23-14 benefit with 2:40 remaining. Dicker’s kick capped a 17-play, 79-yard drive that took 8:39 off the clock. Keenan Allen had three catches for 32 yards on the drive and completed with 12 receptions for 92 yards.

“I simply actually felt like that took the air out of them just a little bit. Then, for us to make it a two-possession recreation, that was positively what we needed. We might have cherished to have scored a landing there, however I actually felt like we managed the tempo there,” Staley mentioned.

Hill completed with 4 catches for 81 yards, together with a 60-yard TD within the third quarter on Tagovailoa’s finest throw of the evening. Chargers cornerback Michael Davis slipped in protection on the LA 40, permitting Hill to make a straightforward catch and saunter untouched to the top zone to get Miami to 17-14.

Miami’s Jason Sanders booted a 55-yard discipline purpose with 1:10 remaining, however Los Angeles recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.

“That’s exhausting to take. There’s numerous funding, and it’s not adequate,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel mentioned. “I assumed the protection performed nicely sufficient for us to win. There’s stuff we will clear up, for positive.”

SCOOP AND SCORE

The Dolphins had 5 internet yards and one first down on their first three possessions earlier than lastly getting on the scoreboard, due to Hill.

On second-and-4 from the Miami 41, Wilson fumbled whereas tackled by Chargers security Alohi Gilman throughout a 6-yard acquire. There was a scramble for the free ball till Hill picked it up, modified course and rapidly sprinted to his proper and up the sideline.

Hill grew to become the one participant within the Tremendous Bowl period to attain TDs by way of receiving, speeding, kick return, punt return and fumble return.

RECORD BOOK

Hill broke Mark Clayton’s 38-year previous Miami mark for receiving yards in a season. Hill has 1,460 yards on 100 catches, whereas Clayton had 1,389 yards on 96 catches in 1994.

Ekeler completed with eight receptions for 59 yards. His third catch moved him previous Kansas Metropolis’s Kimble Anders (369) for probably the most by an undrafted operating again within the widespread draft period. Ekeler now has 375 receptions in his six-year profession.

INJURIES

Dolphins: Wilson suffered an ankle damage throughout the second quarter. Security Eric Rowe had a hamstring damage within the third.

UP NEXT

Dolphins: At Buffalo subsequent Saturday evening.

Chargers: Host Tennessee subsequent Sunday.

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