The LA Chargers and Atlanta Falcons are two teams who are known for playing close games and for making absurd mistakes that cost them football games. When the two teams square off, fans know they can expect a circus show that is disguised as a football game.
That is exactly what we all saw on Sunday, as the LA Chargers drained a game-winning field goal at the buzzer from practice squad kicker Cameron Dicker to move to 5-3 on the season. Atlanta fell to 4-5 with the loss.
Both teams had several chances to win this game down the stretch and at the end of the day, the Falcons ultimately out-Falconed the Chargers, who tried their best to Chargered this game away but were unable to do so.
It was nearly a disaster for the Bolts, who drove into easy field-goal range with less than a minute remaining and just needed to milk the clock, kick the field goal and go home. Instead, Austin Ekeler fumbled, the Falcons recovered and ran it down the field to give themselves a chance to win it... only to fumble it right back to the Chargers.
Justin Herbert came through with a big completion to Joshua Palmer right after this to put the Chargers back in field-goal range, ultimately leading to the win. But man, this could have been absolutely horrible for the Bolts if the Falcons didn't fumble it right back.
The LA Chargers tried their best to give this game away but executed when it mattered most.
It was far from a pretty win for the LA Chargers but at the end of the day, they all count the same in the record books. It started with an extremely ugly first quarter for the Bolts, who did absolutely nothing on offense and allowed the Falcons to march down the field and go up 10-0.
This gave the Chargers their fourth-straight double-digit deficit in the first quarter, making them just the third team in league history to do so. However, the Bolts responded with arguably the best quarter of football they have played all season to head into halftime with a 14-10 victory.
The Chargers had every chance to then ice the game in the second half but because it was a game between the Chargers and Falcons, they did everything they could to keep Atlanta in the game. First, it was Gerald Everett dropping a wide-open first down on the first drive of the half to derail the offense and lead to a punt.
Then, after a miraculous Khalil Mack strip, Palmer briefly forgot how to catch a football, allowing it to clank right off of his face, in the air, and into the hands of Atlanta's defense.
Thankfully, Palmer responded in an excellent way to this drop, finishing the game with over 100 yards and the most important catch of the contest. It might not have been pretty, but the Chargers having a 5-3 record instead of a 4-4 record with the 49ers and Chiefs on the horizon is massive.