American Football

Chargers-Rams Live Recap: It’s the Battle for L.A. on New Year’s Day


NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Chargers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Can the Bolts keep the Rams from spoiling their home finale?

Kickoff for today’s game between the Chargers (9-6) and the Rams (5-10) is right around the corner.

This is the first meeting between the teams during the regular season since the 2018 campaign where the Rams won handedly 35-23. This time around, it’s the Chargers that are now being viewed as the favorites as the Rams are 6.5-point underdogs, per DraftKings Sportsbook.

With the Chargers having already clinched their spot in the playoffs, this game doesn’t have much on the line outside of bragging rights. But knowing the fan base, that’s more than enough to be incredibly motivated. It would also be ideal to send the fan base out with a win in the team’s home finale.

And hey, what better way to do it than with Joey Bosa returning for his first game since week three?

For a complete quarter-by-quarter recap of tonight’s game, check it all out below.

First Quarter

Seems like every week the Chargers have won the coin toss and deferred. This week was no different.

The Rams began with two chunk runs by Cam Akers. After allowing the first down, the Chargers defense stiffened and were able to shut the door on Baker Mayfield with a sack by Morgan Fox.

Justin Herbert and the Chargers offense managed a similar drive before a holding penalty (Donald Parham) on third-and-one killed the drive and forced their first punt of the day.

Akers broke loose for a 42-yard run to bring the Rams to the Los Angeles 22-yard line. After a missed DPI call on Mike Williams the previous drives, the referees missed a clear hold on Nasir Adderley which allowed Akers to turn the corner. Tough, but you have to fight through the officials some weeks.

The defense stood tough once again to hold the Rams to a field goal. With a little over 60 seconds remaining in the opening period, the Rams held the lead 3-0.

Before the quarter came to an end, Herbert hit Mike Williams for a 26-yard gain and Joshua Kelley took a carry for 12 yards to put the Bolts in business at the Rams’ 37-yard line.

Second Quarter

On the other half of the break, it took the Chargers just three plays to find the end zone. A 20-yard pass to Williams brought the offense to the 10-yard line and Ekeler did the rest by bowling over defenders into the end zone. With 13:40 remaining in the first half, the Chargers were up 7-3.

The Rams took advantage of another chunk play with Mayfield hitting Van Jefferson for a 39-yard gain. The Rams offense then sputtered and knocked themselves out of field goal range with an intentional grounding penalty called on an incomplete third-and-six pass attempt. They punted from the Chargers’ 41 and managed to pin the Bolts at their own 10.

Lightning struck again for the Chargers offense as they went 90 yards in just five plays, mostly thanks to a season-long 72 yard run by Ekeler straight into the end zone for his second touchdown of the day. With 8:25 remaining in the second quarter, Ekeler had four carries for a whopping 98 yards rushing.

The Rams responded behind a strong connection from Mayfield to Jefferson. After the duo got their unit down to the 23-yard line, Malcolm Brown went untouched up the middle for a touchdown. While the defense looked to be completely out of place on the play, the Rams were aided by another massive hold on Drue Tranquill.

Williams added to his highlight reel on the ensuing drive with an incredible one-handed catch up the left sideline that helped get the Chargers deep into Rams territory. After having first-and-10 at the Rams’ 22, the Chargers couldn’t find a completion on three attempts which forced Cameron Dicker’s first field goal of the night.

Both teams headed into the locker room with the Chargers holding a 17-10 lead.

Third Quarter

Fourth Quarter

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