The Los Angeles Chargers take on the Houston Texans in Week 16 of the 2021 season.
The Texans won the toss and chose to defer, giving the Chargers the ball on offense to start. A series of nice completions from quarterback Justin Herbert including a 16-yard pass to wide receiver Jason Moore moved the ball down the field for the Bolts. Chargers kicker Dustin Hopkins made a 50-yard field goal to make the score 3-0 Chargers on the opening drive of the game.
On the Texans' opening drive, an 18-yard touchdown run by running back Royce Freeman was nullified by a holding penalty called on Houston. The next play, running back Rex Burkhead found the end zone on a 25-yard rushing touchdown that made the score 7-3 Texans after the PAT from Dominik Eberle.
On the Bolts' ensuing drive, running back Justin Jackson took a screen pass for a 25-yard gain that brought the Chargers into the Texans territory. A few plays later, Hopkins made a 46-yard field goal to make the score 7-6 with just under two minutes to play in the first quarter.
Chargers defensive lineman Jerry Tillery was able to get to quarterback Davis Mills for the Bolts first sack of the afternoon. The sack stopped the Texans drive short as time in the first quarter expired one play later.
The Chargers started the second quarter with the ball after the Texans punted the ball away on fourth down. An 18-yard completion to tight end Jared Cook and a 15-yard completion to Keenan Allen put the Bolts in the red zone early in the second quarter. On the next play Jackson found the end zone on a 17-yard rushing touchdown, his first score since 2018. That put the Chargers back on top 12-7 after the two-point conversion attempt was no good.
The Chargers were able to force an incomplete pass on 3rd-and-17, and Eberle made a 51-yard field goal to make the score 12-10 Chargers. On the Bolts' next drive, Herbert launched a pass deep down field but it was intercepted at the Houston one-yard line by safety Johnathan Owens, who returned it five yards.
On the Texans' next drive, Mills connected with wide receiver Phillip Dorsett for a 36-yard gain right before the two-minute warning. A few plays later, the Texans hit on another deep pass, this time to wide receiver Chris Conley for a 41-yard touchdown that made the score 17-12 after the PAT with just under 30 seconds left in the first half.
The Texans received the second half kickoff and Mills connected with Conley for an 18-yard pass early in the third quarter. Mills threw an incomplete pass on third down and Eberle missed the 52-yard field goal attempt on fourth down.
With the ball back in the Chargers' hands, running back Joshua Kelley took a short pass for 14 yards and a first down on 3rd-and-11. A few plays later, tight end Tre' McKitty hauled in a pass on 3rd-and-4 for a 12-yard gain that brought the Bolts into the red zone. Herbert was sacked on second down and was unable to convert on third down, so Hopkins came on to attempt his third field goal of the day. Hopkins made the 35-yarder that made the score 17-15 Texans.
On the Texans' next drive, Mills connected with Brevin Jordan for a 27-yard pass on 3rd-and-6 to get the ball into Chargers territory late in the third quarter. The Texans faced a 1st-and-goal as time expired in the third quarter.
Chargers linebacker Drue Tranquill was announced as questionable to return with a leg injury.
A few plays into the fourth quarter, Burkhead found the endzone for the second time on a one-yard rushing touchdown that made the score 24-15 after the PAT. On the Bolts next drive, Herbert connected with Cook for 17 yards on first down but on the next play Jackson fumbled the ball, with Owens recovering on the Chargers 49-yard line.
The Texans were able to get into the Chargers territory with a 23-yard pass from Mills to wide receiver Chris Moore. A few plays later the Chargers forced Mills to throw an incomplete pass that made the Texans settle for a field goal. Eberle made the 25-yard field goal that made the score 27-15 with just under nine minutes to go in the game.
In need of a score, Herbert connected with Jackson for a 11-yard and 17-yard passes to get the drive going. A few plays later Jackson burst through a big whole for a nine-yard rushing touchdown, his second of the day. The Bolts elected to go for two and were able to convert on a pass to Cook that made the score 27-23 Texans with just under six minutes to play.
On the next Texans drive, Burkhead was able to break free for a 36-yard rush that brought the ball to the Chargers 25-yard line. A few plays later Mills connected with Nico Collins for a 13-yard touchdown pass. The touchdown and PAT put the Texans up 34-23 with 2:32 left in the game.
Herbert connected with Allen on 3rd-and-6 for six yards and the first down as the clock stopped at the two-minute warning. A few plays later, Herbert threw a pass intended for Cook but was intercepted by Tavierre Thomas at the Chargers 48-yard line and returned for a touchdown. The touchdown put the Texans up 41-23 after the PAT.
The Bolts were able to drive down and score in a minute and 15 seconds with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Joshua Palmer to make it 41-29 after the failed two-point conversion. The Chargers were unable to recover the onside kick and the Texans kneed the ball to walk away with the win.