Wil Lutz converted a 36-yard field goal and Marshon Lattimore tackled Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams a yard shy on fourth down as the New Orleans Saints held on to earn a 30-27 victory over Los Angeles in overtime on Monday night.
The Saints fell into an early 20-3 hole as rookie quarterback Justin Herbert tossed three first half touchdown to lead the Chargers out in front. However, the Chargers were unable to hold on to a 17-point lead for the second consecutive week as the Saints rallied back in the second half.
Los Angeles had a chance to win at the end of regulation only to have Michael Badgley‘s 50-yard field goal attempt clatter off the right upright. It was Badgley’s second miss of the night along with a missed extra point after the first touchdown of the evening. After winning the coin toss, the Saints moved into Chargers territory only to have the drive stall just inside the L.A. red zone.
After Lutz’s field goal gave New Orleans a 30-27 advantage, the Chargers had a chance to answer. A roughing the passer call on Malcom Brown moved the Chargers out near midfield but K.J. Hill Jr. dropped a third down pass from Herbert and Williams was dragged down a yard shy of converting a first down to seal the win for the Saints.
Herbert became the first rookie to ever throw four touchdown passes on Monday Night Football. He completed 20 of 34 passes for 264 yards and the four scores on the night for the Chargers. Williams caught five of those passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
Herbert tossed three touchdowns in the first half as the Chargers built a cushion over New Orleans. A 17-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Allen gave the Chargers an early 6-0 lead after a missed Badgley extra point. Following a 48-yard Lutz field goal to end the first quarter, Herbert connected with Williams on a 4-yard score to extend the lead to 13-6.
Brees would be intercepted by Nasir Adderley on an overthrown ball which nearly went for a defensive score. Instead, Herbert and Hunter Henry hooked up for a 3-yard touchdown as the Chargers lead extended to 20-3.
Brees would respond with a two-minute drive to close the gap before halftime. The Saints drove 51 yards in eight plays before Brees jumped over the line of scrimmage into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown with 14 seconds left in the half to close the gap to 20-10.
The Chargers Offense would go stagnant for much of the half. On three possessions after the break, the Chargers gained just 64 yards on 23 offensive plays as the Saints rallied. A 53-yard field goal from Lutz trimmed the lead to 20-13 and Brees connected with tight end Jared Cook for a 41-yard score to tie the game at 20-20 with 11:21 remaining.
Brees completed 33 of 47 passes for 325 yards with a touchdown and interception without top target Michael Thomas playing due to an incident in practice late in the week. Emmanuel Sanders caught 12 passes for 122 yards in posting his first 100-yard receiving day as a member of the Saints.
Herbert and Williams struck for a 64-yard touchdown to put Los Angeles back on top as Williams blew by Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson for the go-ahead score.
The lead would be short-lived as the Saints immediately answered. A 28-yard pass to Alvin Kamara propelled the Saints into L.A. territory before Taysom Hill scored on a 9-yard scramble to tie the game at 27-27.
The Chargers nearly won it in regulation as Williams made a stellar leaping grab for 29 yards over Lattimore. However, Badgley’s 50-yard attempt as time expired clanked off the right upright to send the game to overtime.
Los Angeles had held a 24-7 lead over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week only to fall 38-31.