The Los Angeles Chargers proved on Sunday that they can finally hang on to a lead. The next step is making sure opponents don't make it too close at the end.
Los Angeles had a 31-13 lead midway through the third quarter against the Jets before New York was able to rally a bit. They were within one score at 34-26 and drove to the Chargers 32 with under a minute remaining before turning over the ball on downs.
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The Chargers gave up a safety in the final seconds to make the final score 34-28 and snap a three-game losing streak to improve to 3-7.
“Even though we didn’t finish the way we wanted to, we still won the game so it’s better than the alternative,” coach Anthony Lynn said.
The Chargers are one of the league's best teams in the first half. They have outscored teams by 40 points in the first and second quarters — the eighth-best differential in the league — and their defense has allowed a league-low average of 134.3 yards.
After halftime, though, is another story. The 164 points allowed in the second half and overtime is tied for second-most in the league and the minus-53 points differential is second to Atlanta (minus-58). The 209.7 yards allowed is fourth worst.
New York had touchdowns on its first three second-half possessions and Joe Flacco had 173 of his 203 passing yards after halftime.
“They should have never had a chance to get back in the game. Simply shouldn’t have been that close, for sure,” said Keenan Allen, who set a franchise single-game record with 16 receptions. “It's not discouraging, but definitely embarrassing. Obviously, that’s a story of the whole season but even with a win, we will take it and try to build off of it.”