The Los Angeles Chargers (6-6) hung on to defeat the Cleveland Browns (0-12) 19-10 in front of 25,320 fans on a windy Sunday afternoon.
Once again DE Joey Bosa came up with a huge sack late in the fourth quarter on DeShone Kizer, that ensured the Chargers victory at Stub Hub Center. Los Angeles continues to control their own destiny with some help from their AFC West colleagues as the Chiefs and Broncos lost. With this victory, the Chargers and Chiefs are all tied for first place in the AFC West.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers came off his career best against the Dallas Cowboys, a 434-yard, three-touchdown performance on national television. Wide receiver Keenan Allen caught 23 passes for 331 yards and three touchdowns in his past two games. Allen has been more productive when coming out of the slot for the Chargers.
After starting deep in Browns territory, Rivers passed the ball around to Hunter Henry, Keenan Allen, and running back Melvin Gordon. Unfortunately as Los Angeles entered the red zone, they were unable to score due to newly signed kicker Travis Coons who missed a 38-yard field goal.
Later in the second quarter after Rivers was unable to connect with Allen in the end zone, Coons redeemed himself and made a 21-yard field goal for the 3-0 Chargers lead. The feisty Browns defense continued to deny the Chargers an open gateway into the end zone, which allowed Coons to knock in a 40-yard field goal for the 6-0 lead later in the second quarter.
The Browns have a young and scrappy defense led by rookie defensive end Myles Garrett, however the Browns have given up 289 yards this season.
Browns receiver Josh Gordon -- whose career was derailed by multiple drug and alcohol suspensions -- gave Cleveland a nice offensive boost.
Gordon caught a great catch on a nice throw from quarterback DeShone Kizer as Cleveland made their way inside the Chargers' 30 near the 2-minute warning. Two plays later, Kizer found David Njoku on a deep pass down the middle for the 28-yard touchdown and the 7-6 lead late in the second quarter.
The Bolts responded quickly utilizing the two minute drill, Rivers threw an incomplete pass to Antonio Gates who appeared to be held, yet no penalty was called. Coons kicked a 22-yard field goal for the 9-7 lead. The Chargers struggled to enter the end zone in the first half which was a cause for concern offensively.
Midway through the third quarter the Bolts made some significant adjustments, as Rivers decided to spread the ball around more to Henry and Allen on the drive. Allen caught a key 26 yard catch that set up the first down and gave him 1,016 yards on the year thus far. Two plays later, Rivers found a sprinting Allen cutting into the end zone for their first offensive touchdown of the game. Allen has four touchdowns in his last three games this season.
Before the game, Allen needed just 73 yards for a 1,000 yard season, something he hasn't accomplished since his rookie year in 2013.
The Chargers defense would not be outmatched by Kizer and the Browns, as they came up huge on two plays early in the final quarter preventing Cleveland from seeing the end zone. The Browns settled for a Zane Gonzalez 27-yard field goal as they trailed 19-10.
Philip Rivers completed 31/43 passes for 346 yards and a touchdown on the day, while Keenan Allen had a career day with 5 receptions for 105 yards. It was Allen's third consecutive game with 100 yards or more.
DeShone Kizer finished with 15/32 passes for 215 yards and an interception in the loss. The Browns remain win less and continue to search for their first win next week.
The Chargers now prepare for Washington next Sunday at Stub Hub Center.