“We have to learn to close out games,” said Los Angeles Chargers rookie quarterback, Justin Herbert after suffering another crushing one possession loss.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints overcame a 17-point first half deficit and rallied back to defeat the Chargers 30-27 in an overtime thriller on Monday night in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Herbert posted 264 passing yards and became the first rookie to throw for four touchdowns on Monday Night Football, displaying his talent in primetime.
Tied up at 27 all, Los Angeles kicker Michael Badgely missed a game winning 50-yard field goal that would have resulted in a victory with zeros on the clock.
“That young man has been kicking outstanding all year, I’ll be the first to say he needs to do better but they’re some things we could’ve done better,” said Chargers coach Anthony Lynn.
The Chargers (1-4) have now blown 17-point leads in back-to-back games and are 3-13 in one score games since the start of last season.
“We know we can play with anybody. …We just got to finish these damn games,” added Lynn.
Justin Jackson led the Chargers ground attack with 15 carries for 71 yards, while rookie running back Joshua Kelley had 11 for 29.
Mike Williams led Los Angeles in receiving with five receptions for 109 yards and two scores. Keenan Allen had two catches for 29 and a score only before leaving the game early in the first period with a back injury.
“The guys are putting themselves in position to win these games and we’re just not finishing the games,” Lynn said. “It’s not one thing here or there. Yeah, I could give you a ton of excuses. But I’m not about excuses. At the end of the day, we’ve just got to get it done, and that’s on me.”
Brees finished 33-for-47, and threw for 325-yards, a touchdown pass and a TD run. Saints (3-2) star running back Alvin Kamara finished with 109 all-purpose yards on 19 touches.
Emmanuel Sanders had a game high 12 receptions for 122 yards for New Orleans.
“We shouldn’t have had to mount the comeback we had to mount in order to win this game,” said Brees.
Herbert connected with Keenan Allen to give the Chargers an early 6-0 lead on a 17-yard score scrambling throw on the run only before Badgley went on to miss the extra point.
Herbert connected with Williams on a 4-yard score, followed by finding tight end Hunter Henry for a 3-yard score to go up 20-3 before halftime.
Brees responded with a 1-yard touchdown just before the half and a 41 yard score to Jared Cook to tie the game at 20-20 in the fourth.
The Chargers lone score of the second half came moments later when Herbert found a wide open pass to Williams for a 64-yard touchdown on a third-and-10 play and busted coverage with 3:40 remaining in the fourth.
“He’s a good talent, doesn’t feel like you’re playing against a young talent. He’s got a bright future in this league,” Saints coach Sean Peyton said on Herbert. “He made some big plays.”
New Orleans stayed calm and collected, tying the game back at 27-all with 52 seconds left in regulation when Taysom Hill scored on a nine-yard run.
Badgley then failed to convert the game-winning 50 yard field goal as regulation expired and instead watched Saints Kicker Will Lutz connect on a 36-yard kick with 5:08 remaining in overtime.
The Chargers threatened with one last drive in overtime, but came up short on a 4th and 6 play, ending the game at 30-27, stretching their losing streak to four games.
“It’s definitely a tough loss to be so close, it hurts,” said Herbert. “We just have to keep attacking and I know the wins will come.”
Los Angeles will next enjoy a week 6 bye week, hoping to get some players back healthy for a week 7 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4) on Sunday, Oct. 25 at SoFi Stadium.