Chargers botch game-winning trick play for walk-in TD vs. Panthers

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Los Angeles Chargers got the hard part right on Sunday.” data-reactid=”16″>The Los Angeles Chargers got the hard part right on Sunday.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="But they came up painfully short of a dramatic victory over the Carolina Panthers thanks to a botched lateral on a trick play as time ran out.” data-reactid=”17″>But they came up painfully short of a dramatic victory over the Carolina Panthers thanks to a botched lateral on a trick play as time ran out.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Chargers started their final drive facing a long shot, trailing 21-16 after Carolina downed a Joseph Charlton punt at the one-yard line with 1:46 remaining. Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert responded to the moment, completing six consecutive pass attempts to drive the Chargers to the Panthers 23-yard line with 13 seconds left.” data-reactid=”18″>The Chargers started their final drive facing a long shot, trailing 21-16 after Carolina downed a Joseph Charlton punt at the one-yard line with 1:46 remaining. Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert responded to the moment, completing six consecutive pass attempts to drive the Chargers to the Panthers 23-yard line with 13 seconds left.

Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks on after being knocked down during the second half of a game against the Carolina Panthers at SoFi Stadium on September 27, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks on after being knocked down during the second half of a game against the Carolina Panthers at SoFi Stadium on September 27, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Justin Herbert came oh-so-close to posting his first win as an NFL starter on Sunday. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="A false start pushed the Chargers back five yards, and a deep Herbert pass to Keenan Allen on the next snap didn’t connect, setting Los Angeles up with one last shot at the end zone from the 28-yard line with five seconds remaining.” data-reactid=”30″>A false start pushed the Chargers back five yards, and a deep Herbert pass to Keenan Allen on the next snap didn’t connect, setting Los Angeles up with one last shot at the end zone from the 28-yard line with five seconds remaining.

The Chargers declined to set up a desperation end-zone shot for Herbert, instead opting for one of the game’s oldest trick plays — a hook-and-ladder. Herbert escaped pressure and found Allen streaking across the field right-to-left at the 15-yard line.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Allen hauled in the pass and immediately looked to running back Austin Ekeler, who was running in the opposite direction. Allen lateraled the ball to Ekeler, who faced a wide open path to the left corner of the end zone as Carolina’s secondary leaned right to pursue Allen.” data-reactid=”32″>Allen hauled in the pass and immediately looked to running back Austin Ekeler, who was running in the opposite direction. Allen lateraled the ball to Ekeler, who faced a wide open path to the left corner of the end zone as Carolina’s secondary leaned right to pursue Allen.

Except the lateral didn’t connect.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The pitch bounced high off of Ekeler’s hands, and instead of walking in for a touchdown, he scrambled to recover the loose ball. Carolina’s Efe Obada jumped on it, and time ran out for a Panthers win.” data-reactid=”36″>The pitch bounced high off of Ekeler’s hands, and instead of walking in for a touchdown, he scrambled to recover the loose ball. Carolina’s Efe Obada jumped on it, and time ran out for a Panthers win.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The botched play denied Herbert his first NFL victory in second professional start after being drafted in the first round of April’s draft. He took over for starter Tyrod Taylor last week after a pregame pain injection punctured Taylor’s lung.” data-reactid=”37″>The botched play denied Herbert his first NFL victory in second professional start after being drafted in the first round of April’s draft. He took over for starter Tyrod Taylor last week after a pregame pain injection punctured Taylor’s lung.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Herbert threw for 300 yards for the second time in two starts, connecting on 35-of-48 attempts for 330 yards with a touchdown and an interception. It was another impressive performance for Herbert, who’s NFL debut last week ended in an overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.” data-reactid=”38″>Herbert threw for 300 yards for the second time in two starts, connecting on 35-of-48 attempts for 330 yards with a touchdown and an interception. It was another impressive performance for Herbert, who’s NFL debut last week ended in an overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

But thanks to another disappointing ending, Herbert’s first win in the NFL will have to wait.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More from Yahoo Sports:” data-reactid=”40″>More from Yahoo Sports:

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