Late comeback pushes Packers over Chargers
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WSAW) - The Green Bay Packers topped the Los Angeles Chargers 23-20 Sunday to improve to 4-6 on the season.
The Packers received the ball to start the game but were pinned deep in their own territory due to two Dallin Leavitt penalties on the kickoff. Green Bay would drive the ball to midfield, but the possession stalled as the Packers failed to convert on fourth-and-two, giving the ball to LA.
The Chargers would suffer a similar fate on their opening drive. They’d get the ball in a fourth and short situation, but a Justin Herbert pass was dropped by Donald Parham, ending the drive.
Green Bay would go three-and-out their next drive, pinning the Chargers inside the 20 to begin their next drive. Herbert would lead Los Angeles down the field, highlighted by a 37-yard Austin Ekeler run. They’d get to the Green Bay seven-yard-line, but the Packers would keep them out of the end zone, settling for a 25-yard Cameron Dicker field goal to make it 3-0.
The Packers provided a quick response to the Chargers’ first score. The Packers needed just six plays to 69 yards, capped off by a 32-yard Jayden Reed reverse that he took into the end zone to get Green Bay on the board. It was the longest rush of Reed’s career. With the extra point good, Green Bay took the lead at 7-3.
With momentum, the Packers’ defense came up with a big play to start the Chargers’ next series. Karl Brooks brought down Herbert for the third sack of his young career. However, the momentum was short-lived. On third and three, Herbert hit Stone Smartt for a big gain. After a missed tackle by Jonathan Owens, Smartt broke free for a 51-yard touchdown, making the game 10-7.
The Packers set up shop at their own 17 to begin their drive. After a sack, Jordan Love made an improvisational throw on second and long to Dontayvion Wicks for 29 yards, setting up a drive that would bleed into Chargers’ territory. However, negative plays would knock them back from the 24 all the way to the 34. Anders Carlson would miss a 52-yard field goal to the Packers’ threat.
The Chargers would quickly punt on their next series, giving Green Bay the ball back on their own 19. The drive showed some promise, but during the series, Aaron Jones went down with a knee injury and was helped off by trainers. He would not return to the game. At the two-minute warning, Green Bay had reached the Chagers’ 43.
The Packers would get the ball to the Los Angeles ten-yard line, but could not get the ball in the end zone. They’d settle for a 28-yard Carlson field goal to even the score at 10-10, which would be the halftime score.
Los Angeles took the ball to start the second half, marching the ball swiftly down the field. Justin Herbert scrambled for a 28-yard run to get the Chargers into the red zone. However, the Packers’ defense once again stood tall, keeping a touchdown off the board and forcing another short Dicker field goal, giving the Chargers a 13-10 lead.
Green Bay began their first drive of the second half with a few third-down conversions. However, after crossing the 50, on third down, Love would be sacked by Khalil Mack, ending the Packers’ threat.
The Packers’ defense forced a quick three-and-out before getting the ball back. Thanks to long catches by Wicks and Tucker Craft, the Packers drove deep into Chargers territory. From 11 yards out, Love floated a touchdown to Christian Watson to take the lead. Carlson’s extra point was no good, making the score 16-13. The Packers would take their three-point lead into the fourth quarter.
Now trailing, the Chargers bolted to life on offense to begin the quarter. With three quick plays, LA drove inside the Packers’ five-yard line. On second and goal though, Ekleler fumbled the ball on a running play. Rashan Gary pounced on it for the Packers, ending a promising drive for the Chargers and giving Green Bay the ball back.
Green Bay’s turn with the ball was short-lived off the turnover. They’d punt the ball back to Los Angeles after picking up just one first down. Back with the ball, the Chargers got down to business on offense. Riding the hands of Keenan Allen, Los Angeles zipped down the field in 11 plays, taking the lead on an Allen touchdown grab. With a clean extra point, the Chargers led by four 20-16.
With under six minutes in the game, the Packers got the ball back, needing a touchdown to take the lead. Jordan Love delivered in the moment. First, a big play to Dontayvion Wicks put Green Bay into Chargers’ territory. Next, Love aired out a rainbow to Romeo Doubs from 24 yards for a touchdown to take the lead. Carlson’s point after made the game 23-20.
Needing a stop from their defense now, the Packers looked to keep the game in their favor. The defense delivered and then some on the Chargers’ drive. Two incompletions and a Rashan Gary sack quickly forced LA to punt at the two-minute warning.
Green Bay got the ball back with 1:47 to go in the game but with the Chargers holding all three of their timeouts. Los Angeles quickly stood up three AJ Dillon rushes to get the ball back with just over 1:30 remaining in the game.
The Chargers needed just a field goal to tie. However, the Packers’ defense held firm one more time. On a Los Angeles fourth down, Kenny Clark tipped Herbert’s pass to seal the win at 23-20.
Jordan Love finished the game 27/40 for 322 yards, two touchdowns and no picks. Jayden Reed had another strong game for the Packers, leading them in rushing with 46 yards and a touchdown, while adding 46 yards in receiving. Dontayvion Wicks was the Packers’ leading receiver, reeling in 91 yards on just three grabs.
The Packers improve to 4-6 and now have a short week ahead of them. They’ll travel to Detroit Thursday to face the Lions on Thanksgiving Day. The game kicks at 11:30 a.m.
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