The Los Angeles Chargers fell to the New England Patriots, 27-24, in Week 8 of the 2021 season.
New England won the toss and chose to defer, giving the ball to the Chargers to start the Week 8 Halloween showdown.
The Chargers started their opening drive on the 25-yard line after the Patriots kicked it out of the end zone. The Chargers wasted no time on offense with an explosive play from Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen. Herbert found a streaking Allen for a 41-yard gain to put the Bolts in the red zone. The Bolts found themselves in a 4th-and-1 situation and converted with an Austin Ekeler run. A few plays later, Ekeler made his way into the end zone as he pushed through a pile of Patriots and Chargers players to put the Bolts up 6-0. Chargers' newly signed kicker Dustin Hopkins made his first PAT in a Chargers uniform to cap off the eight-play, 75-yard drive and make it 7-0.
On the Patriots' opening drive, New England was able to march down the field with a number of big plays. Patriots running back Damien Harris found the end zone on a one-yard rushing touchdown that tied the game at seven with 6:26 left in the first quarter after the Nick Folk PAT attempt.
Jerry Tillery came up with a big sack for the Chargers that forced the Patriots to prepare to punt the ball away as time expired in the first quarter.
The Chargers got the ball back to start off the second quarter and once again got off to a hot start on offense. Chargers running back Justin Jackson found a big hole in the Patriots defense and burst up the field for a 75-yard gain that put the Chargers at the New England 11-yard line. A few plays later, Herbert connected with Allen for a five-yard touchdown pass that put the Bolts up once again 14-7 after the PAT attempt from Hopkins was good.
On the Patriots' ensuing drive, Mac Jones and company were able to drive the ball down to the Chargers' one-yard line. The Bolts defense came up with a big stop on 4th-and-1 after forcing an incomplete pass in the end zone that gave the ball back to the Chargers on their own two-yard line.
Later in the quarter, deep in their own territory, the Chargers defense came up big once again after forcing the Patriots to kick a field goal from the Chargers' six-yard line. Nick Folk made the 24-yard field goal for the Patriots, cutting the Bolts' lead to 14-10.
With 1:50 left in the first half, the Bolts forced the Patriots to punt the ball away. The Chargers looked to keep their drive moving but Herbert was picked off by New England's Adrian Phillips on a pass that was deflected off of Ekeler. The Bolts forced the Patriots to kick a 48-yard field goal that Folk made to bring the score to 14-13 with just 10 seconds left in the 2nd quarter.
Chargers corner Michael Davis also exited the game with a hamstring injury and was listed as questionable to return.
The Patriots got the ball to start the second half and put together a drive that led them into Chargers' territory. The Patriots had a touchdown called back after a holding penalty was called, forcing the Patriots offense to continue driving. A few plays later, Jones connected with Kendrick Bourne but Chargers safety Derwin James Jr. forced a fumble on the play that was recovered by safety Nasir Adderley.
The Bolts stopped the Patriots on another third down in the red zone, forcing New England to attempt another field goal. Folk hit his second 48-yard field goal of the game with 3:39 left in the third and gave the Patriots their first lead of the game by making it 16-14.
The Bolts got a nice spark in their offense late in the third quarter with a 28-yard run that setup a 48-yard field goal from Hopkins, his first made field goal in a Chargers uniform. The field goal put the Chargers back on top 17-16 with just over 30 seconds left in the third.
Justin Jackson left the game with a quadricep injury, Davis was downgraded to out of Sunday's game, and Asante Samuel Jr. was evaluated for a possible concussion.
The Chargers were able to get the ball back in their hands quickly after James came flying across the line of scrimmage to stop Patriots running back Brandon Bolden short on 3rd-and-1.
On the Chargers' ensuing drive, Adrian Phillips intercepted Herbert's pass for the second time on the day, this time Phillips was able to get up and return the ball for a 26-yard pick-six that put the Patriots up 22-17. The Patriots converted the two-point conversion on a pass from Jones to Jakobi Meyers to make the score 24-17 with 10:11 to go in the game.
With just over two minutes remaining in the game, Folk made a 30-yard field goal to make the score 27-17, New England. The Chargers were able to put together a quick scoring drive capped off by a 24-yard touchdown pass from Herbert to Josh Palmer. After Hopkins made the PAT, the Bolts cut the Patriots' lead down to 27-24. The Chargers attempted recover the onside kick but came up unsuccessful. The Patriots walked away with the win on Sunday, 27-24 the final score.
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