Chargers

The Los Angeles Chargers squandered a 17-point lead for the second consecutive game, losing to the New Orleans Saints, 30-27, in overtime Monday evening in New Orleans.

The Chargers had an opportunity to win in regulation but Michael Badgley’s 50-yard field goal attempt as time expired hit the right upright. The miss was Badgley’s third in 10 attempts this season.

Badgley also missed the extra point attempt after the Chargers first touchdown.

Wil Lutz kicked a 36-yard field goal on the first possession of overtime for the Saints (3-2).

New Orleans defensive tackle Malcom Brown was called for roughing the passer on the Chargers first play of overtime. Back-to-back incomplete passes left the Chargers facing a fourth-and-6 from their 44-yard line to extend the overtime.

Justin Herbert completed a pass to Mike Williams, but 6-foot, 192-pound cornerback Marshon Lattimore stopped the 6-foot-4-inch, 218-pound Williams 1 yard short of the first down to end the game.

Seeking to avoid a four-game losing streak, Justin Herbert broke a 20-20 tie with a 64-yard touchdown pass to Williams with three minutes, 40 seconds to play in regulation.

New Orleans retied the score with 52 seconds left in regulation when backup quarterback Taysom Hill entered the game for the first time and ran 9 yards for a touchdown on a third-and-4 play.

The Chargers (1-4) took a 20-3 lead 4:25 before halftime on Herbert’s 3-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Henry, three plays after Nasir Adderley intercepted a pass by Drew Brees and returned the ball 39 yards to the Saints’ 1-yard line.

However, the Chargers didn’t score again until their fourth-quarter touchdown, punting four times and having Herbert kneel once to end the half in their next five possessions, picking up five first downs.

New Orleans began its comeback when Brees ran 1 yard for a touchdown with 14 seconds left in the second quarter. Brees completed five consecutive passes for 50 yards to advance the ball from the Saints’ 49-yard line to the Chargers’ 1.

Lutz kicked a 53-yard field goal for the third quarter’s only points.

New Orleans tied the score, 20-20, on Brees’ 41-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jared Cook with 11:21 to play.

Herbert completed 20 of 34 passes for 264 yards and four touchdown passes. He was sacked three times. He did not throw an interception for the first time in his four starts as a professional.

Brees completed 33 of 47 passes for 325 yards with one interception. He was sacked twice. The touchdown pass to Cook increased his NFL career record total to 556, three more than Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Chargers were outgained 408-350, trailed 23-19 in first downs and 35:01-30:42 in time of possession before a crowd announced at 749 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The Chargers opened the scoring on their second possession as Herbert’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Allen completed a nine-play, 80-yard drive.

The touchdown came three plays after Justin Jackson’s 36-yard run, the Chargers longest of the season.

The Saints got their first points on the first of Lutz’s three field goals, a 48-yarder as time expired in the first quarter.

The Chargers were forced to punt after three plays on the ensuing possession but the drive was extended on a roughing the kicker penalty against running back Dwayne Washington. Herbert threw a 49-yard pass to Jalen Guyton three plays later and a 4-yard touchdown pass to Williams on the next play.

New Orleans played without receiver Michael Thomas, a three-time Pro Bowl selection. The Taft High alumnus was inactive after getting into a fight at practice Saturday with second-year safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Sports Illustrated reported.

All of the Chargers 2020 losses have been by seven points or less, including a 23-20 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Sept. 20 when they led by 11 in the third quarter and a 38-31 loss to Tampa Bay Oct. 4 when they led by 17 in the second quarter.

This is the third time in five seasons the Chargers have started the season 1-4. This is the third time in that span they have had a losing streak of at least four games.

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