Justin Herbert’s three touchdown passes led the Los Angeles Chargers to a much-needed victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday night, 30-15, to get back in the win column after back-to-back losses.
Herbert has been scrutinized in recent weeks for missing passes and making it hard for the Chargers to get anything going on offense as he continues to deal with a dislocated finger on his non-throwing hand, but that wasn’t the case on Sunday night.
Herbert completed 15 straight passes in the first half to get his team off to the start head coach Brandon Staley and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore have been waiting for.
Herbert, who had his best half of the season in the first against the Bears, orchestrated a 92-yard drive to start his night that ended with a perfectly executed screen to Austin Ekeler, who made one man miss and used a hoard of blockers to comfortably snag a 39-yard catch-and-run.
Ekeler is someone Chargers fans have been waiting to see back to normal following his ankle injury, and the versatile offensive weapon showcased his pass-catching abilities in this matchup.
Ekeler didn’t have the best night on the ground (15 carries, 29 yards), but he was the Chargers’ leading receiver with 94 yards on seven catches, which included that first touchdown. It was his first receiving score of the season, and the Chargers hope there’s many more.
After the Ekeler touchdown drive, Herbert had another passing touchdown, this time finding backup tight end Simi Fehoko for his first of the season.
Herbert would later find Donald Parham Jr. (four catches, 43 yards) toward the end of the first half to collect his third and final touchdown pass of the game, as the big tight end shimmied past one Bears defender and carried a couple into the end zone for his fourth touchdown of the campaign.
Herbert was 31 of 40 for 298 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, marking the first time in three weeks he hasn’t thrown a pick.
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The Bears’ rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent was a great story this past week as the Division II product from Shepherd University took over for the injured Justin Fields and dominated the Las Vegas Raiders, but Chicago struggled to get things going in this one.
Bagent finished the game 25 of 37 for 232 yards with two interceptions and no touchdown passes.
His favorite target was tight end Cole Kmet, who had 10 catches on all 10 of his targets for 79 yards. Star wide receiver DJ Moore had four catches for 55 yards.
D’Onta Foreman was also a key factor in the Bears’ win last week, scoring three total touchdowns in the game, but he was held to just 34 yards on nine carries Sunday night, as the Chargers held the Bears to just 73 yards rushing.
Bagent did, however, get into the end zone at the very end of the game, sneaking it in on the goal line for his second rushing touchdown of his young career.
With the Chargers snapping their losing streak to get to 3-4 on the year, Herbert and his crew will look to keep the momentum next week on “Monday Night Football” against the New York Jets.
Meanwhile, the Bears will see if Fields is good to go next week against the New Orleans Saints on the road.