The Los Angeles Chargers fell to the San Francisco 49ers, 15-10, in the second preseason game of 2021.
The Chargers won the toss and elected to receive. Quarterback Easton Stick had an 11-yard rush and a pair of completed passes for seven yards each, but L.A.'s first drive stalled at its own 42-yard line.
San Francisco's offense controlled the ball for the next seven-plus minutes. On the 15th play of the drive, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was picked off by rookie cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. at the Chargers 15-yard line. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty moved the ball back to the Bolts 7-yard line.
Los Angeles starts the second quarter with the ball, second-and-18 from its own 27.
It was two plays and a punt for the Chargers to begin the second quarter. San Francisco rookie quarterback Trey Lance – who, like Stick, starred at North Dakota State – entered the game in relief of Garoppolo. A five-play, 16-yard drive resulted in a punt.
Three plays later, Stick was sacked in the end zone by 49ers defensive end Jordan Willis for a safety. The 49ers offense took possession after a Ty Long kick, but three plays in, Lance was picked off by cornerback Tevaughn Campbell. An illegal blindside block moved the ball back to the San Francisco 40.
Stick got the Chargers on the board with a three-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Joshua Palmer. A Michael Badgley extra point gave Los Angeles a 7-2 lead.
Samuel Jr. and Palmer – high school teammates who were drafted 30 picks from each other – both with impact plays for the Chargers in the first half.
On L.A.'s next possession, Stick stayed sharp with a 39-yard strike to wide receiver Jalen Guyton. Badgley's 50-yard field goal put L.A. up 10-2.
Lance responded before the half with a 41-yard pass to wide receiver Trent Sherfield that got the ball of L.A.'s 13. Two plays later, the rookie found wide receiver Mohamed Sanu Sr. for a five-yard touchdown with :15 remaining. A missed extra point made the score 10-8 at halftime.
Stick went 10-of-14 for 85 yards and a touchdown. Linebacker Kenneth Murray and defensive tackle Christian Covington led the team with four tackles each. Outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell had the Chargers' only sack of the first half.
The 49ers got the ball to start the second half and on the team's second offensive play, Chargers DE Jessie Lemonier came into sack Lance for the Bolts' second sack of the game.
Later in the third, San Francisco took a 15-10 lead off a 16-yard touchdown from Lance to wide receiver Travis Benjamin.
Chase Daniel entered at QB for the Chargers this quarter and Nate Sudfeld saw action for the 49ers after the Lance touchdown drive.
San Francisco safety Jared Mayden picked off Daniel early in the fourth. While Mayden ran it back for the pick-six, there was a penalty on the 49ers that negated the touchdown.
On the ensuing drive, the 49ers fumbled the snap and Chargers LB Cole Christiansen recovered it. The recovery marked the third turnover the Chargers had forced in this game.
Chargers rookie linebacker Nick Niemann led the team in tackles for the second straight week. He finished this week's game with eight total tackles including one for loss.