Justin Herbert’s growth as an NFL quarterback reached a point Thursday where he led the Chargers on a game-winning, game-ending drive for the second time in five days.Justin Herbert
And this is team that had lost 16 of 19 one-score decisions, dating to before Herbert was a Charger.
The rookie scored the winning touchdown on a one-yard lunge to lift the Chargers to a 30-27 overtime victory over Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium.
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“He’s doing it with young receivers on the field, spreading the ball [around],” coach Anthony Lynn said. “He’s doing everything he has to do to keep plays alive, extend plays.”Justin Herbert
On Sunday, Herbert led the Chargers to a 20-17 victory over Atlanta at SoFi Stadium for his first career fourth-quarter game-winning drive.
This time, he guided the Chargers while relying on young receivers like Jalen Guyton, Tyron Johnson and K.J. Hill.
Keenan Allen was limited by a hamstring injury and Mike Williams was hampered by a back problem.
Herbert completed 22 of 32 for 314 yards, with scoring throws to Johnson and tight end Hunter Henry. He set up his deciding touchdown with a 53-yard completion to Guyton, who ended up with four catches for a team-high 91 yards.
Herbert also topped the quarterback he has described as a mentor Thursday, beating Marcus Mariota.
The Raiders lost quarterback Derek Carr to a groin injury late in the first quarter. He was replaced by Mariota, making the remainder of the game a matchup of former Oregon quarterbacks.Justin Herbert
In improving to 5-9, the Chargers also ended a nine-game losing streak against the AFC West.
The Raiders received the kickoff to start overtime, and Mariota guided a 14-play,
70-yard drive that ended with a 23-yard field goal by Daniel Carlson. A touchdown would have ended the game, but the Chargers’ defense made a stand inside the five.
Herbert came right back and marched the Chargers down the field. He scored with 1:29 remaining.
The Chargers played overtime without star defensive end Joey Bosa, who was being evaluated for a concussion.
With the score 24-24, the Chargers had two chances to take the lead in the fourth quarter, but kicker Michael Badgley missed field goal attempts from 47 and 51 yards.Justin Herbert
Badgley has missed 12 kicks, including extra-point tries, the most in the NFL. He had the game-winner Sunday over the Falcons, a 43-yarder on the final play.
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“I would love to know what’s going on in his head right now,” Lynn said. “I thought he got his swag back. I thought he was over the hump. He didn’t kick well today. It’s just that simple. And we’re in a dome.”
After the Raiders tied the score 17-17 midway through the third quarter, the Chargers took a 24-17 lead with a 12-play, 75-yard drive. Kalen Ballage scored from a yard out.
Mariota, who rushed for 88 yards and passed for 228, then answered Herbert’s effort with a touchdown drive of his own to make it 24-24. The Raiders used 19 plays and nearly 11 minutes to go 75 yards. Mariota ran two yards and leaped into the end zone for the score.
The Chargers started the game with utter perfection, holding the Raiders to a three-and-out and then going 78 yards in 12 plays for a touchdown.Justin Herbert
Herbert completed all six of his attempts for 75 yards on the drive, hitting Henry for a 10-yard score. Those numbers worked out to a 158.3 passer rating, which is the highest possible.
The possession consumed nearly half of the first quarter. And Herbert was just starting.
After Las Vegas scored the game’s next 10 points, he would lead the Chargers on a 14-play, 71-yard drive that ended with a 22-yard Badgley field goal to make it 10-10 late in the first half.Justin Herbert
After the Chargers’ defense held, Herbert and the offense went 49 yards in four plays to take a 17-10 edge at halftime. Herbert passed 26 yards to Johnson for the touchdown.
“Guys are tired of losing close games,” Lynn said. “They want to win some of these. Guys are fighting and they’re executing in the end. That’s what we have to do.”
Jeff Miller is the Chargers beat writer for the Los Angeles Times. He previously spent 20 years as a sports columnist for the Orange County Register and, before that, the Miami Herald. He also served as the Angels beat writer for The Times and the Register. His other stops include the Palm Beach Post and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.Justin Herbert
Collect By: latimes.com