Chargers Joshua Kelley scores one-yard run to put the Bolts up 7-0.
(John McGillen/NFL)

The LA Charger’s 43-yard field goal by rookie kicker Cameron Dicker fueled a much-needed win over the Tennessee Titans, 17-14. The win lifted the team to sixth place in the AFC. The Bolts have won three of their last four games. Of Dicker’s game-winning kick, Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert spoke of the team’s trust in him.

“He’s made his kicks, and the way he’s gone about it is a true professional. We trust him.”

With under 48 seconds remaining in the game, Herbert connected on a 35-yard pass to Mike Williams to set up the game-winning field goal, going 52-yards on five plays. Herbert knew that Williams would make the catch.

Herbert said, “You can put it anywhere around the defender. He’s going to go up and get it.”

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With this win, the Chargers improved to an 8-6 record and remain in the hunt for a playoff spot as the top seven teams will advance. The Chargers trail the Ravens with three remaining games against the Colts, Rams, and Broncos.

Chargers Khalil Mack gets after Titan’s QB
(John McGillen/NFL)

Herbert completed 28 of 42 passes for 313 yards with two interceptions, his fifth 300-yards game of the season. Herbert connected with Keenan Allen on eight passes for 86 yards, and Williams made four catches for 67 yards. Of the win, Herbert had this to say:

“We have practiced two-minute drives all the time in practice and all throughout camp. We know that we have special receivers, a great offensive line blocking, and Mike Williams goes and makes the play,” Herbert said. To be able to go through that and deal with as much adversity as we did today and not be able to score points and turnovers and things like that, for those guys to hang tough, believe in the defense, and believe in each other, it was really good to see for us.”

Herbert’s day was not perfect, but he made the plays when he had to. For three quarters, both teams were at a standstill with a 7-7 score. Titan’s safety Joshua Kalu intercepted Herbert in the first half, and in the third quarter, safety Kevin Byard jumped the route and made the second Titan interception. For the third time in his career, Herbert failed to throw a touchdown pass.

It was Herbert’s fourth-quarter play that changed the game’s trajectory. Chargers head coach Brandon Staley summed up the play of Herbert this way:

“I thought he had his best when the best was required. Justin plays like he always does. He’s patient and was able to make big plays for us.”

Chargers Mike Williams in action against the Titans
(T. Nowell/Los Angeles Chargers)

The Charger defense continued to play what Coach Staley calls “team defense.” The Bolts held the Titans to 3-for-11 on third down attempts, all without the assistance of safety Derwin James Jr. and Joey Bosa, both of whom are expected to return to play for the next game. The defense held the Titans to 284 yards of total offense.

“You’re seeing all 11 players connected to the game plan, executing their assignment, technique, and efforts. They’re playing with the right energy,” Staley said of his team’s defensive play.

The Titans quarterback completed 15 of 22 passes for 165 yards and one interception. The Charger defense sacked Tannehill four times. Titan’s NFL rushing champion, Derrick Henry, led all receivers with 59 yards on four catches, followed by tight-ends Chigoziem Okonkwo, four receptions for 54 yards, and Austin Hooper, two receptions for 33 yards.

The Chargers take on the Indianapolis Colts on the road on Monday night against a team that allowed the largest comeback in NFL history to the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday, blowing a 33-0 halftime lead.