INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Coming into Sunday's game versus the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Los Angeles Chargers have struggled in the third quarter -- in fact, they had scored only 13 points in the third quarter in their first five games combined. It was something coach Anthony Lynn stressed in practice this week, and his words didn't go unheeded.
Having fallen behind in the second half, rookie quarterback Justin Herbert led the Chargers (2-4) to 20 points in the final 5:34 in the third quarter, putting them ahead for good in a 39-29 victory over the Jaguars, which snapped a four-game losing streak.
Herbert threw touchdown passes to tight end Virgil Green and receiver Jalen Guyton and ran for a third touchdown during that fateful stretch, with the 70-yard pass to Guyton tying the game 29-29 with 1:56 left in the third quarter. Jaguars receiver Dede Westbrook fumbled the ensuing kickoff, which the Chargers recovered at the Jacksonville 19. Herbert ran the ball from the 5-yard line to score another TD and put L.A. up to stay.
Herbert threw for a career-high 347 yards on 27-of-43 passing and became the first Chargers QB with three passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown since Dan Fouts in 1983. He also became the fifth quarterback in NFL history to throw for three touchdowns and rush for one within his first five career games, joining Deshaun Watson, Marc Bulger, Kurt Warner and Mark Rypien.
It was the first career win for Herbert, who was thrown into action Week 2 after Tyrod Taylor was injured by an injection to ease the pain in his bruised ribs.
Feeling huggy: The Chargers gave hugs all around after this losing-streak-busting victory, social distancing be damned. Herbert was last off the field after hugging anybody who was near -- even Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew II, whose team dropped to 1-6. Herbert gave QB coach Pep Hamilton an especially long hug, along with tight end Hunter Henry. There was no telling them this wasn't a big moment.
Congratulating Keenan: Herbert was the last to leave the field, but not before slapping Keenan Allen (also doing a TV interview) on the buttocks. Allen looked healthy after leaving the last game early because of back spasms, hauling in 10 passes for 125 yards.