Fri, 01 Dec 2023

Chargers survive cliff-hanger with Vikings on end zone pick

Field Level Media
25 Sep 2023, 06:55 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports)

Linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr. made a game-saving interception in the end zone with seven seconds to go, and the Los Angeles Chargers escaped with a 28-24 win over the host Minnesota Vikings on Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis.

Justin Herbert completed 40 of 47 passes for 405 yards and three touchdowns for Los Angeles (1-2). Keenan Allen caught a career-high 18 passes for 215 yards, and he threw a touchdown pass on a trick play to fellow wideout Mike Williams.

Kirk Cousins completed 32 of 50 passes for 367 yards, three touchdowns and an interception for Minnesota (0-3). Justin Jefferson had seven catches for 149 yards and a touchdown, and Josh Oliver and K.J. Osborn caught one touchdown apiece.

The Chargers led 28-24 with less than two minutes remaining when they opted to go for it on 4th-and-1 from their own 24-yard line. Joshua Kelley took the handoff but he was stuffed on a run up the middle to give the Vikings a chance to win.

Minnesota marched to the Chargers' 6-yard line in the final seconds. Cousins tried to fire a pass to T.J. Hockenson, but the ball was deflected and Murray came down with it in the end zone.

Allen surpassed his previous career high of 16 catches, which he recorded in 2020. He also moved into No. 3 on the franchise all-time list with (9,474) receiving yards, trailing only Lance Alworth (9,584) and Antonio Gates (11,841).

Los Angeles led 14-10 at the half thanks to two touchdown passes from Herbert to Donald Parham Jr.

The Chargers moved ahead 21-10 when Herbert zipped a pass behind the line of scrimmage to Allen, who planted his feet and lobbed a deep ball to a wide-open Williams for a 49-yard score.

Minnesota fought back to grab a 24-21 lead with 11:20 remaining. Jefferson caught a pass across the middle, evaded a would-be tackler and outraced the Chargers' secondary for a 52-yard touchdown.

The Chargers responded with a touchdown on the next drive to go ahead 28-24. Vikings cornerback Akayleb Evans nearly intercepted Herbert, but the ball bounced off his hands and into the arms of Joshua Palmer for a 30-yard touchdown.

The Chargers might have sustained an important loss despite winning the game. Williams injured his left knee late in the third quarter and needed to be carted toward the locker room. He finished with seven catches for 121 yards and a score.

--Field Level Media

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