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Chargers Lose 21-16 to Panthers


The Los Angeles Chargers are 1-2 after a 21-16 loss to the Carolina Panthers at SoFi Stadium.

First quarter

Los Angeles opened the game on defense, forcing a three-and-out on Carolina's opening drive. The Panthers returned the favor, though, starting their second offensive possession on the Chargers' 48-yard line.

A six-play, 37-yard drive resulted in a 29-yard Joey Slye field goal to give Carolina an early 3-0 lead.

On Los Angeles' next possession, quarterback Justin Herbert fumbled after being sacked by defensive end Brian Burns. Panthers linebacker Tahir Whitehead recovered and returned the ball to the Chargers' 35-yard line. Seven plays later, Slye kicked a 24-yard field goal to increase the Panthers' lead to 6-0.

The Chargers closed the quarter with an eight-play drive highlighted by a 28-yard Austin Ekeler reception. They'll resume the second quarter with a 3rd-and-5 at Carolina's 18-yard line.

Browse through live action photos as the Bolts take on the Carolina Panthers at SoFi Stadium.

Second quarter

The Bolts opened the second quarter facing a 3rd-and-5 from the Carolina 18 and a completion to Keenan Allen kept the drive moving. One play later, Ekeler ran 12 yards into the end zone for the score and 7-6 lead.

A 25-yard rush by Panthers running back Mike Davis kickstarted a Carolina drive that got them in the red zone; however, a tackle in the backfield by Joey Bosa on third down later in the drive forced another Panthers field goal which put them back on top, 9-7.

The Chargers turned the ball over on the ensuing drive after running back Joshua Kelley fumbled the ball off a hit by Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson. Carolina ended up capitalizing on the turnover with a touchdown, however Isaac Rochell blocked the extra point attempt. Carolina led 15-7 with 2:58 left in the first half.

The Bolts got the ball back, but Herbert threw an interception with seconds left in the first half which Carolina took all the way back to the LAC 8. They ended up kicking a field goal to take them into halftime with a 18-7 lead.

The Chargers will get the ball to start the second half.

Third quarter

Los Angeles came up empty on its first two offensive possessions of the half.

On the third, Herbert led a 10-play, 37-yard drive that resulted in a 41-yard Michael Badgley field goal to cut Carolina's lead to 18-10.

The Panthers ended the quarter with a 38-yard reception by DJ Moore from Teddy Bridgewater. Carolina will start the fourth quarter at the Chargers' 33-yard line.

In the third, Ekeler went over 100 total yards for the second straight game. Allen (544) also passed Kellen Winslow for the third-most receptions in team history. Time of possession tilted back to the Chargers 23:01 to 21:59.

Fourth quarter

The Panthers extended their lead to 21-10 with 10:58 remaining in the fourth with a 31-yard field goal.

The Chargers then assembled a 16-play drive that ended in a 14-yard touchdown from Herbert to Allen. The Bolts went for two, but their attempt failed, and Carolina led 21-16.

Carolina got the ball back but Bosa came in and sacked Bridgewater on third down to force a Panthers punt which gave the Bolts the ball with 1:46 left in the game.

The drive started on the one-yard line and the team ended up getting down to the Carolina 28, but couldn't score and ultimately fell to the Panthers.

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