INGLEWOOD – Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa made it sound simple when he challenged teammates to create plays that didn’t require dance moves.
Cornerback Tevaughn Campbell didn’t moonwalk or backflip, as Bosa said in his descriptive challenge this week, but Campbell had some high strides before hitting the end zone on his 6-yard interception return for a touchdown against the New York Jets on SoFi on Sunday. Stadium.
Campbell’s pick-six in the first quarter erased another terrible start and gave the Chargers a much-needed spark on their way to a 34-28 victory against the hapless Jets. The Chargers appeared to become the first team to lose to the Jets this season, breaking a three-game series.
But the Chargers rarely made it easy and had to sweat out another one-score finish. The Jets narrowed the lead to eight points and were on the move with less than two minutes left, but the Chargers ‘defense held on to the fourth and ninth while standing on the Chargers’ 32-yard line.
The Chargers are 2-7 in one-score games this season.
Quarterback Justin Herbert continued his historic start against the 0-10 Jets. Herbert became the first rookie quarterback in NFL history with five appearances from three touchdowns in a season.
Herbert finished 37 out of 49 for 366 yards and three touchdowns. Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen set a franchise record with 16 catches and 145 yards and a touchdown.
Bosa called out his teammates to include takeaways, but he added himself, saying he should better knock the ball out while lowering. He nearly had his bag in the second quarter, but the referees ruled that Jet’s quarterback Joe Flacco released the ball before Bosa got there.
Bosa’s destroyed strip bag was quickly forgotten after Herbert led off the next drive with a 54-yard strike to wide receiver Tyron Johnson. Bosa returned from a two-game absence due to a concussion.
Herbert found his groove in the second quarter with back-to-back touchdown drives with passes of 39 yards or more. The rookie quarterback found wide receiver Mike Williams for a score of 39 yards for his 20th touchdown pass of the season and a 14-6 lead with 2:17 pm left in the second quarter.
After Herbert made contact with Johnson, he closed the series with a 2-yard touchdown pass to finish Hunter Henry tight to extend the lead 21-6 at 10:01 in the second quarter. It was Johnson’s third reception of 50 yards or more this season.
The Chargers went into halftime with a 24-6 lead after Michael Badgley’s 44-yard field goal. Herbert recorded the most passing yards by a rookie quarterback in the first half since at least 1991 with 277.
The Chargers did the unthinkable when their kick was blocked after the opening drive for the second consecutive game. Defensive lineman Henry Anderson came across rookie who ran back to Joshua Kelley to block Ty Long’s kick. It was the third blocked kick of the season for the Chargers.
Four plays later, La’Mical Perine ran back to a 5-yard touchdown to give the Jets a 6-0 lead. Kicker Sam Ficken missed the extra run attempt.
But the special teams’ miscue was quickly forgotten after Campbell intercepted Flacco’s first pass attempt and returned it 6 yards for a touchdown. The Chargers took their first lead 7-6 with 9:05 over in the first quarter.
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