The Los Angeles Chargers beat the Cleveland Browns, 47-42, in Week 5 of 2021 season.
Cleveland won the opening kickoff and elected to defer so the Chargers got the ball to start the game. The Chargers went three-and-out on their first drive of the game.
On the Browns' first drive of the game, Derwin James forced a strip sack that was recovered by Cleveland. The fumble by Browns QB Baker Mayfield lost seven yards and forced the Browns to settle for a field goal two plays later. Kicker Chase McLaughlin made a 35-yard field goal to put the Browns up 3-0 with with just over seven and a half minutes remining in the first quarter.
On the Chargers' second drive of the game, running back Austin Ekeler brought in an 18-yard pass from Justin Herbert. Illegal contact on Cleveland gave the Chargers an automatic first down at Cleveland's 30-yard line. A few plays later, Herbert found Donald Parham Jr. on a short pass to the right, Parham wove through the defense and dove into the end zone for a 22-yard touchdown. The extra point from Tristian Vizcaino put the Chargers up 7-3.
The Browns ended the first quarter by driving to the Chargers' 29-yard line.
Chargers guard, Oday Aboushi left the game in the first quarter with a knee injury and was listed as questionable to return.
A few plays into the second quarter, Mayfield found wide receiver Rashard Higgins for a seven-yard touchdown pass that put the Browns up 10-7 early in the second quarter.
Backed up inside their own 30-yard line, the Chargers answered the Browns' score with an explosive play. Herbert found a wide-open Mike Williams deep down the field for a 72-yard touchdown pass that put the Chargers back on top, 13-10. Vizcaino missed the extra point to keep the Bolts up by three points.
Facing a 4th-and-2 the Browns elected to go for it on the Chargers' 17-yard line. Mayfield's pass was incomplete, intended for Odell Beckham Jr., giving the ball back to the Bolts once again.
On the Browns' ensuing drive, they drove the ball to the Chargers' 12-yard line at the two-minute warning. The Chargers stopped the Browns' rushing attack close to the goal line and forced Cleveland to go for it on fourth down once again. On 4th-and-1, Kareem Hunt rushed up the middle for a three-yard touchdown to put the Browns back up 16-13. McLaughlin made the PAT and put the Browns up 17-13 with under a minute to play in the first half.
The Bolts got the ball for one final possession before the half, but Ekeler fumbled the ball on the Chargers' 22-yard line and it was recovered by Cleveland, giving the ball back to the Browns with 38 seconds left. McLaughlin kicked a 31-yard field goal as time expired to put the Browns up 20-13 at the end of the second quarter.
Derwin James became the first player in the last 15 seasons to record 14 tackles in any half of a regular or postseason game.
Cleveland got the ball to start the second half. On the fifth play of their drive, Nick Chubb broke loose for a 52-yard rushing touchdown that put the Browns up 27-13 following the PAT.
The Chargers, deep in their own territory on their next drive, decided to go for it on 4th-and-2. The Bolts gained nine yards on the play off an Ekeler run that kept the drive alive. Facing yet another fourth down, this time on the Browns' 22-yard line, Herbert connected with Keenan Allen on 4th-and-7 for a 12-yard gain. A few plays later, Herbert scrambled to the left pylon for a nine-yard rushing touchdown. Herbert then connected with Parham for the two-point conversion. The score put the Chargers down 27-21 with just under six and a half minutes to go in the third.
On the Bolts' second drive of the fourth quarter, Herbert rolled right with plenty of time and found Williams wide open again for a 42-yard touchdown pass. After the PAT was made, the Chargers went up 28-27. The touchdown to Williams put the Chargers back on top for the first time since the second quarter.
The Browns answered quickly with a touchdown of their own. Mayfield found tight end David Njoku for a 71-yard touchdown pass. The Browns elected to go for two and converted on an under-hand pass to tight end Austin Hooper. The score put the Browns up 35-28 with 10:40 left in the game.
On 4th-and-4, Hebert rolled right and launched a deep ball intended for Williams. The pass was incomplete, but a defensive pass interference gave the Bolts the first down on the Browns' 26-yardline. The Chargers converted on another 4th down, this time Herbert found Allen on 4th-and-8 for a 20-yard gain. The next play, Ekeler rushed the ball up the middle for a four-yard touchdown that tied the game, 35-35, following the PAT from Vizcaino.
On the Browns' next drive, Hunt found the end zone for the second time with an eight-yard rushing touchdown. The quick score put the Browns up 42-35 with 4:45 left to play.
In need of a score, Herbert connected with Allen on 3rd-and-5 for a 37-yard gain to put the Chargers in Browns territory. A few plays later, Herbert found Ekeler for a 19-yard touchdown pass, Herbert's fourth touchdown of the day made the score 42-41, Browns as Vizcaino missed the PAT.
The Chargers forced the Browns to punt the ball away with just over 2 minutes left in the game. Herbert then found Jared Cook for 29 yards to put the Chargers in the red zone once again. A few plays later, Austin Ekeler found the end zone for third time on the day, with 1:31 left in the game. The Chargers tried to convert the two-point conversion but was stopped just short leaving the score at 47-42.
The Chargers were able to hold off the passing attack by the Browns and walk away with a win, 47-42.
Herbert, who passed for 369 yards on the day, threw for 300 passing yards for his 11th time in his career setting the record for most 300-yard games by a player through his first two seasons.
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