January 31, 2023


Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Chargers rally to beat Falcons 20-17 on last-second field goal

The Chargers pulled out a 20-17 victory Sunday over Atlanta, overcoming another glaring example of poor decision-making.

Michael Badgley made a 43-yard field goal on the final play for the win at SoFi Stadium.

The final points were set up by a Michael Davis interception as the Chargers improved to 4-9.

Justin Herbert finished 36 of 44 for 243 yards and two touchdowns. Austin Ekeler carried 15 times for 79 yards and caught nine passes for 67 yards.

But for the third consecutive week, there was another head-scratching incident involving the Chargers coaches.

This time, they botched a drive at the end of the first half, costing them a chance for points that proved to be valuable.

Facing a third-and-one situation with no timeouts and 22 seconds remaining, the Chargers inexplicably attempted a running play.

After Kalen Ballage was stopped for no gain, several Chargers appeared to be confused about the spot, perhaps thinking Ballage had gained the necessary one yard.

Now facing fourth down, they tried to run their field-goal team out for a last-second kick, as the offense moved toward the sideline.

In the scramble and confusion and with the clock about to expire, Badgley’s attempt came with about 16 Chargers on the field. They were called for an illegal shift, ending the half with the Falcons up 17-10.

The Chargers lost wide receiver Mike Williams early to a back injury. Offensive linemen Bryan Bulaga and Trai Turner left the game to be evaluated for concussions and did not return.

The injuries come with the Chargers facing a short week, their next game Thursday night in Las Vegas.