Justin Herbert Leads Chargers Past Giants

By Field Level Media
Field Level Media
Field Level Media
December 13, 2021 Updated: December 13, 2021

Justin Herbert threw three touchdown passes and Austin Ekeler ran for a score as the Los Angeles Chargers to win consecutive games for the first time since early October.

Joshua Palmer, Jalen Guyton and Jared Cook caught touchdown passes on a day when leading Chargers receiver Keenan Allen did not play while on the COVID-19 reserve list. Herbert was 23-of-31 passing for 275 yards and now has at least 30 TD passes in each of his first two NFL seasons.

Consecutive victories give the second-place Chargers (8–5) momentum heading into an AFC West showdown Thursday at home against the first-place Kansas City Chiefs. Mike Glennon threw two TD passes and ran for another for the Giants (4–9) in his second consecutive start with Daniel Jones out because of a neck strain. Elijhaa Penny’s early TD reception made him the first New York running back or wide receiver with a TD since Week 7.

Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (quadriceps) was active for the first time since Week 8 and caught two passes for 27 yards in the defeat, which guaranteed New York its fifth consecutive losing season.

The teams traded TDs in the first quarter with Ekeler scoring on a 1-yard run for the Chargers, while the Giants answered with Penny’s 3-yard reception from Glennon. Ekeler had 67 yards rushing in the game before leaving in the third quarter with an ankle injury.

The Chargers pulled away in the second quarter. Palmer grabbed a 12-yard TD pass from Herbert for a 14–7 lead before Dustin Hopkins hit a 27-yard field goal to put Los Angeles up 17–7.

The Chargers made it 24–7 after a four-play, 75-yard drive in a mere 23 seconds, scoring on Herbert’s 59-yard TD pass to Guyton with 17 seconds remaining before the half.

Hopkins added a pair of field goals in the third quarter, from 28 and 39 yards, to give the Chargers a 30–7 lead. Cook caught a 1-yard TD pass with 9:28 to play.

The Giants had 317 yards of total offense to 423 for the Chargers, with 135 of those on the ground. Running back Saquon Barkley had 64 yards rushing for New York on 16 carries and scored his first TD since Week 4 on an 18-yard reception with 4:33 remaining.

Glennon rushed for a 7-yard TD with 1:18 remaining and was 17-of-36 passing for 191 yards and an interception.