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Chargers Fall to Dolphins in Week 1 Shootout


The Chargers and Dolphins played a back-and-forth affair Sunday at SoFi Stadium.

The Bolts couldn't hang on late, falling 36-34 as they are now 0-1 on the season.

First Quarter

The Bolts won the toss and elected to defer as the Chargers started on defense. Miami quickly moved into the red zone on a pair of big passing plays, but the Bolts held firm in the red zone. The Dolphins fumbled the snap at the 2-yard line and it was recovered by Nick Williams at the 6.

The Chargers then put together a 94-yard scoring drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run from Austin Ekeler. Justin Herbert converted twice on the ground on third-down runs while he also hit Allen for a 36-yard gain. Overall, the Bolts ran for 58 yards on 12 carries on their first drive of the season.

Miami started at its own 25 but quickly moved midfield. The Dolphins faced third-and-3 but were called for holding, but Miami still converted and were aided by a personal foul facemask that moved Miami into the red zone. The Dolphins later scored on a 2-yard run with 75 seconds left in the first quarter. The Bolts got the ball back and faced third-and-2 at their own 33-yard line when the quarter came to a close.

Second Quarter

The Bolts couldn't convert and punted it away early in the second quarter. Miami marched down the field with a pair of 25-plus yard completions and was quickly in the red zone. But the Bolts held firm again as James batted away a third-down pass at goal line for force a field goal try. Miami's 23-yard kick was good as the Bolts trailed 10-7.

The Chargers offense struck right back as the offense put together a 75-yard scoring drive highlighted by a 55-yard run from Ekeler. Allen nearly scored but was ruled down at the 1-yard line before Herbert hit Donald Parham, Jr. for a 1-yard touchdown pass.

The Bolts defense then forced a three-and-out as Michael Davis and Eric Kendricks both had pass breakups. But the Bolts offense couldn't tale advantage as they also went three-and-out. Miami got the ball back and drove into Chargers territory before the Dolphins converted on fourth-and-7 at the 42-yard line. The Dolphins soon took the lead on a 1-yard touchdown pass with 1 minute and 42 seconds left in the second quarter.

The Chargers offense took over at its own 25-yard line and moved the chains with first-down catches by Allen and Quentin Johnston to get to midfield. Parham picked up 15 yards before the Bolts faced third-and-10 at the Miami 35. Herbert scrambled for 3 yards to set up a successful 50-yard field goal try from Cameron Dicker to tie the score at 17 just before halftime.

The Bolts were called for defensive pass interference on the final play of the half that was a 30-yard penalty. Miami's 41-yard field goal was good at the buzzer as the Bolts trailed 20-17 at the half.

Browse through live action photos of the Bolts season opening matchup against the Miami Dolphins at SoFi Stadium.

Third Quarter

The Bolts began the third quarter with a bang as they put together a 75-yard scoring drive. The Chargers ground game picked up chunk plays before Allen and Parham drew defensive pass interference flags that helped get the ball down to the 1-yard line. Herbert then cashed in on a QB sneak for a 1-yard TD run.

The Dolphins threatened on their next drive as they neared the red zone and faced third-and-12 at the Bolts 27. But Tua Tagovailoa lofted a pass into the red zone that was picked off by JC Jackson, his first in powder blue.

The Bolts took over at their own 4-yard line but couldn't move the sticks and punted it away from their own 1-yard line. Miami took over at the Bolts 35 and needed just one play to score as Hill caught a touchdown pass. Down 27-24, the Bolts took over at their own 25-yard line. Ekeler got the drive going with a 35-yard reception that moved the Chargers into Miami territory. The Chargers had the ball at Miami's 17-yard line as the quarter ended.

Fourth Quarter

The Chargers quickly took the lead in the fourth quarter as Joshua Kelley ran for a 2-yard score at the 14-minute mark. Kelley's run gave the Bolts a 31-27 lead as they also surpassed 200 rushing yards on the ground. Miami's offense got on the move in the ensuing drive, including converting on a third-and-15, to get into Bolts territory. But the Chargers held firm once again. The Bolts stopped Miami short on another third-and-15 try that led to a Miami field goal.

Up 31-30, the Chargers offense took over at their own 25-yard line. The Bolts faced a big third-and-12 at their own 45 but Herbert got ample time in the pocket and hit Williams for 24 yards on a huge conversion. Allen drew a flag that put the Chargers in the red zone but the Chargers faced third-and-5 and the 7. Herbert's pass was incomplete as Dicker came on and hit a 25-yard field goal for a 34-30 lead with 3:53 to go.

Miami quickly faced third-and-10 but the Dolphins hit a 47-yard pass to get into Bolts territory before also getting into the red zone. Hill caught a 4-yard pass for a Miami lead but the extra point was no good.

Down 36-34, the Bolts took over at their own 25 with 1:45 to go and two timeouts. After a 10-yard pass, Herbert was called for intentional grounding to bring up second-and-21. Herbert was sacked on second down to make it third-and-29. Herbert hit Williams for 16 yards to bring up fourth-and-12 at the 33. But Herbert was sacked again as the Bolts turned the ball over on downs. The Chargers fell 36-34 and are 0-1 on the season.

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