Sun Sep 27 7:29pm ET
By JOE REEDY
AP Sports Writer
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) is chased by Carolina Panthers defensive end Brian Burns (53) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Shaq Thompson (54) celebrates after recovering a fumble against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Carolina Panthers running back Mike Davis (28) runs into the end zone with for a touchdown after a reception during the first half of an NFL football game Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) Carolina's defense forced three Los Angeles turnovers, Joey Slye kicked five field goals and the Panthers beat the Chargers 21-16 on Sunday, giving coach Matt Rhule his first NFL victory.
The Panthers had not recorded a sack and allowed 65 points in their first two games but looked like a different unit. They sacked Justin Herbert twice and converted three turnovers into 12 points.
Teddy Bridgewater was 22 of 28 for 235 yards and a touchdown in his first win with Carolina (1-2). The seven-year veteran helped the Panthers snap a 10-game losing streak dating to last season.
Herbert became the third quarterback since the merger to throw for 300 yards in his first two starts. The rookie was 35 of 49 for 330 yards and a touchdown, but also had a fumble and an interception.
Keenan Allen had 13 receptions for 136 yards and a TD while Austin Ekeler had 159 scrimmage yards (59 rushing, 80 receiving) and a score.
After forcing Carolina to punt, the Chargers (1-2) took over on the LA 1 with 1:43 remaining. They drove to the Carolina 28 before the drive stalled. Herbert had Allen open in the end zone with 6 seconds left but Tre Boston broke it up.
On the final play, Allen caught the ball at the Carolina 15, but his pitch to Ekeler was too high.
After going three-and-out on its opening possession, Carolina scored on five consecutive drives in the first half. Four ended with field goals by Slye.
Tahir Whitehead recovered Herbert's fumble after a sack by Brian Burns to set up Slye's second field goal.
The Chargers took a 7-6 lead early in the second quarter when Ekeler ran it from around right end from 12 yards. Carolina regained the lead on the ensuing possession when Slye connected from 30 yards.
The Panthers got their only touchdown after a Chargers turnover. They took over at the Carolina 43 after Shaq Thompson recovered Joshua Kelley's fumble and scored in eight plays. Mike Davis caught Bridgewater's screen pass and went 13 yards to the end zone. Nasir Adderley blocked Slye's extra-point attempt to keep Carolina's lead at 15-7.
It looked like it was going to remain that way going into halftime before Donte Jackson intercepted Herbert's pass intended for Allen and returned it 66 yards to the LA 8. Two plays later, Slye was good from 22 yards.
The teams traded field goals in the second half before Herbert brought the Chargers within 21-16 with a 14-yard strike to Allen with 4:39 remaining. The 2-point attempt failed.
Panthers: CB Donte Jackson (toe) was injured during the second half and did not return.
Chargers: CB Chris Harris (ankle), OT Bryan Bulaga (back) and WR Mike Williams (hamstring) were injured in the second half and did not return.
Panthers: Host Arizona next Sunday.
Chargers: Have two straight on road, beginning next Sunday against Tampa Bay.
Five Sleepers: Week 7
After coming down with a calf strain at practice on Friday, Aaron Jones is now expected to miss the Week 7 game against the Texans. This is a tough one for fantasy football managers, as Jones has been a reliable RB1 all season long and may be difficult to replace in fantasy lineups on short notice. Fourth-year running back Jamaal Williams is now expected to act as the lead RB, but rookie AJ Dillon will be in the mix as well and should see more touches than usual. Dexter Williams was added to the Packers active roster on Saturday as well for additional running back depth. Consider Williams a plug-and-play RB2/FLEX option, while Dillon looks more like an RB3/RB4 flier for deeper leagues. Both are also intriguing lower-cost options for DFS lineups, depending on the contest format.
Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones (calf) isn't expected to play Sunday, Oct. 25, and the team is planning on him not playing, according to sources Saturday, Oct. 24.
Fantasy Spin: It's a big blow for fantasy managers. Packers RBs Jamaal Williams, AJ Dillon and Dexter Williams should all play roles with Dillon being the most appealing for fantasy purposes.
Dallas Cowboys DB Rashard Robinson (undisclosed) was placed on the practice squad injured list Saturday, Oct. 24.
Cincinnati Bengals DT Mike Daniels was activated from the Reserve/Injured list Saturday, Oct. 24. DB Winston Rose was also promoted from the practice squad to the active roster.
Atlanta Falcons DE Austin Edwards and LB Edmond Robinson were added to the active roster from the practice squad Saturday, Oct. 24, as COVID-19 replacements.
San Francisco 49ers RB Tevin Coleman (knee) has an 'outside chance' of returning in Week 8, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan Saturday, Oct. 24.
Fantasy Spin: Coleman should be stashed now wherever available with RB Raheem Mostert going on the Reserve/Injured list Saturday.
Updating a previous story, Los Angeles Rams TE Tyler Higbee (hand) is officially listed as questionable for the game Monday, Oct. 26, against the Chicago Bears after getting in a limited practice Saturday, Oct. 24.
Los Angeles Rams DL Michael Brockers (non-injury) and CB Troy Hill (non-injury) didn't practice Saturday, Oct. 24, but don't carry injury designations for Week 7. DL Aaron Donald (non-injury) and OL Andrew Whitworth (non-injury) practiced in full and don't carry injury designations.
Los Angeles Rams TE Tyler Higbee (hand) is hopeful to play Monday, Oct. 26, according to head coach Sean McVay Saturday, Oct. 24.
Fantasy Spin: Higbee had a season-high 56 yards with three catches on four targets in Week 6. He's a low-tier TE1 when on the field.
Los Angeles Rams WR Robert Woods (groin) was a limited participant at practice Saturday, Oct. 24, but doesn't carry an injury designation into the Week 7 game against the Chicago Bears Monday, Oct. 26.
Fantasy Spin: Woods will be a somewhat risky WR3 play in what's projected as a low-scoring game against the Bears.
Kansas City Chiefs DE Alex Okafor (hamstring) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Saturday, Oct. 24.
Jacksonville Jaguars RB Chris Thompson was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, Oct. 24.
Updating previous stories, San Francisco 49ers RB Raheem Mostert (ankle) was officially placed on the Reserve/Injured list Saturday, Oct. 24. S Johnathan Cyprien and S Jared Mayden were activated from the team's practice squad. WR Jauan Jennings (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list.
Tennessee Titans DB Dane Cruikshank was activated from the Reserve/Injured list to the active roster Saturday, Oct. 24. OL David Quessenberry and LB Daren Bates were elevated from the practice squad to the active roster.
Denver Broncos CB A.J. Bouye, DE Dre'Mont Jones and DE DeMarcus Walker were activated from the Reserve/Injured list to the active roster Saturday, Oct. 24. CB De'Vante Bausby was released in a corresponding move. Free-agent DL Sylvester Williams (Broncos) was re-signed to the practice squad. RB Jeremy Cox and LB Nigel Bradham will be elevated from the practice squad to the game-day roster for Sunday, Oct. 25.
Las Vegas Raiders DE David Irving and CB Dylan Mabin were activated from the practice squad Saturday, Oct. 24.
Pittsburgh Steelers RB Trey Edmunds and LB Jayrone Elliott were elevated from the practice squad to the active roster Saturday, Oct. 24.