Justin Herbert threw all three of his touchdown passes in the first half and the visiting Los Angeles Chargers survived a late scare to earn a 41-22 victory Sunday over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Keenan Allen caught two TD passes from Herbert in the first quarter alone as the Chargers (7-5) rebounded from a road defeat at Denver last week. Herbert was 26 of 35 for 317 yards with an interception.
Los Angeles overcame two fumbles from Austin Ekeler but wedged some late breathing room on a Cincinnati turnover. The Chargers’ Tevaughn Campbell returned a fumble by Joe Mixon 61 yards for a TD and a 31-22 lead with 13:43 remaining.
The Chargers’ 16 points in the first quarter were their most since September 2012. They lost star defensive end Joey Bosa in the first quarter to a head injury.
Joe Burrow was 24 of 40 for 300 yards with one TD and two interceptions for Cincinnati (7-5), while playing with a swollen right pinky finger. Mixon had 54 yards rushing on 19 carries with a TD, finding the end zone in his ninth consecutive game.
The Chargers hit the scoreboard first when Allen caught a 4-yard TD pass from Herbert just 3:29 into the game. Dustin Hopkins missed the extra point, but his 43-yard field goal with 6:33 remaining in the quarter gave Los Angeles a 9-0 advantage.
The Chargers made it 16-0 with 1:36 left in the opening quarter when Allen caught a 7-yard TD pass to cap a five-play, 73-yard drive.
When Los Angeles’ Jalen Guyton caught a 44-yard TD pass from Herbert less than five minutes into the second quarter, the Chargers had a 24-0 lead.
The Bengals’ comeback began midway through the second quarter when Tee Higgins caught a 29-yard TD pass from Burrow. Higgins had nine catches for 138 yards. A 6-yard TD run from Burrow with 2:40 remaining in the half pulled Cincinnati to within 24-13. That drive began after an Ekeler fumble.
The Bengals’ Evan McPherson made a 48-yard field goal 5:03 into the third quarter, and Mixon scored on a 7-yard run with 7:10 left in the third after another Ekeler fumble. Cincinnati tried a two-point conversion that would have tied the game at 24-all, but Mixon was stopped on a run to the right side.
Los Angeles got a 1-yard TD run from Ekeler and a Hopkins field goal in the final 10:49 of the game.
–Field Level Media
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