Chargers still learning how to finish off games


November 26, 2020 10:22 PM


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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.”