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Chargers Fall to Vikings, 27-20

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The Los Angeles Chargers fell to the Minnesota Vikings, 27-20, in Week 10 of the 2021 season.

First Quarter

The Chargers won the toss and deferred. On 3rd-and-8 Chargers cornerback Chris Harris Jr. broke up the pass intended for Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson that forced the Vikings to punt the ball away on their opening-drive.

The Chargers went three-and-out on their opening-drive but quickly got the ball back after Joey Bosa strip sacked Kirk Cousins on 3rd down and Justin Jones recovered the ball on the Chargers 29-yard line but the Chargers were unable to capitalize on the turnover and punted the ball away on fourth down.

Rookie linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga sacked Cousins for his first career sack and a loss of nine on the play. The Vikings ended the quarter facing a 3rd-and-11.

Second Quarter

The Bolts were able to stop the Vikings offensive drive on a 3rd-and-10 play, forcing a 46-yard field goal from Greg Joseph that made the game 3-0 early in the second quarter.

A pass interference called on the Vikings gave the Chargers 19 yards and an automatic first down on the Minnesota 33-yard line. A few plays later, Chargers kicker Dustin Hopkins came on to attempt the 46-yard field goal that tied the game at three with just over eleven minutes to play in the second quarter.

On the Vikings ensuing drive, a C.J. Ham touchdown was called back after Minnesota was flagged for holding. The Bolts stopped the Vikings on 3rd down and forced them to kick a 30-yard field goal.

On the Bolts' next drive, Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks intercepted Justin Herbert's pass intended for Keenan Allen, which gave the ball back to the Vikings on the Chargers 31-yard line. The Vikings were able to capitalize off the turnover with a five-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to Tyler Conklin. Joseph made the PAT, making the score 13-3 with just over three minutes to play in the second quarter.

With a chance to answer before the first half ended, the Bolts picked up 28 yards on a defensive pass interference call that moved the ball to the Minnesota 20-yard line. A few plays later, rookie running back Larry Rountree III leaped over a pile of linemen and into the end zone for the first touchdown of his career. The one-yard touchdown and PAT made the score 13-10.

Third Quarter

The Chargers started the second half with the ball in their hands. The Bolts got things moving fast with a 22-yard gain from Allen followed by a 17-yard completion to Donald Parham Jr. on the first two plays of the drive. A few plays later, Herbert fired a pass to Austin Ekeler for a two-yard touchdown that made the score 17-13 after the PAT and gave the Bolts their first lead of the day. The touchdown pass was Herbert's 50th career touchdown pass, making Herbert the fourth player in history to do so within the first 24 games of a career. Ekeler's touchdown grab gave him 20 for his career, making him the youngest running back in the common draft era (1967) to reach 20 receiving scores.

The Chargers were able to stall the Vikings for a few drives but a 27-yard completion to Jefferson put Minnesota back in Chargers' territory. The Chargers stopped Minnesota on a 3rd-and-1 from the one-yard line, but the Vikings elected to go for it on 4th down. Cousins delivered a one-yard pass to Conklin for his second touchdown of the day. The touchdown put the Vikings back on top 20-17.

Fourth Quarter

The Vikings continued their third quarter drive into the fourth quarter and ended up scoring via a Dalvin Cook one-yard rushing touchdown. The touchdown capped off a 12-play, 68-yard drive that put the Vikings up 27-17 with 9:29 left in the game.

On the Chargers' ensuing drive, Herbert placed a perfectly thrown ball to Allen for a 26-yard gain that put the Bolts in Vikings territory. A few plays later, Hopkins made a 24-yard field goal that made the score 27-20, Vikings, with 4:36 left to play.

The Vikings were able to keep their next drive going with a 27-yard completion to Jefferson on third down. The play was challenged by head coach Brandon Staley, but the ruling on the filed was upheld. Later in the drive, the Chargers were able to hold on third down and get the Vikings to 4th-and-2, but Cook gained four yards on the play and gave Minnesota the first down as the clock hit the two minute warning. The Vikings were able to knee the ball and walk away with the 27-20 win.

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