Chargers fall to 0-2 after overtime comeback sputters in loss to Titans

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill scores a touchdown as he's pulled down by Chargers linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr.
Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill scores a touchdown as he’s pulled down by Chargers linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr. in the second half Sunday.
(George Walker IV / Associated Press)

Nick Folk’s 41-yard field goal in overtime lifts the Tennessee Titans to a 27-24 comeback victory over Justin Herbert and the Chargers.

Chargers falter in clutch again as they fall to 0-2 with overtime loss to Titans

NASHVILLE — Just two games into an 18-week season, the Chargers left Nissan Stadium wearing the weight of consecutive defeats that felt like so much more.

They’re 0-2, heading back out on the road again next weekend and still facing the same questions about their ability to close when things matter most.

“It’s a heavy locker room because we care,” defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day said. “We know that we should have finished that game.”

Instead, the Chargers allowed Tennessee to come back from an early double-digit deficit, come back again late in the fourth quarter and then win 27-24 in overtime.

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Chargers lose in overtime on Nick Folk’s 41-yard field goal

🏈 Titans 27, Chargers 24 — FINAL

NASHVILLE — Nick Folk’s 41-yard field goal 4:58 into overtime lifted Tennessee to a 27-24 victory over the Chargers at Nissan Stadium.

The Chargers had the opening possession of overtime but failed to advance the ball when Justin Herbert threw three straight incompletions.

Herbert finished 27 of 41 for 305 yards and two touchdowns. Keenan Allen caught eight passes for 111 yards and both scores.

The Chargers (0-2) travel to play at Minnesota next weekend.


Cameron Dicker field goal sends Chargers-Titans to overtime

🏈 Chargers 24, Titans 24 — End of regulation

Cameron Dicker’s 33-yard field goal on the final play of regulation sent the Chargers and Tennessee Titans into overtime.

The kick concluded a 10-play, 60-yard drive led by quarterback Justin Herbert. The Chargers moved inside the Tennessee 10-yard line before Herbert was sacked on third down.

The Chargers won the overtime coin toss and opted to accept the kickoff.


Titans score touchdown late in fourth to take lead

🏈 Titans 24, Chargers 21 — 2:22 left in the fourth quarter

Tennessee retook the lead when Ryan Tannehill hit Nick Westbrook-Ikhine on a four-yard touchdown pass.

Tannehill hit Chris Moore for a 49-yard gain to open the seven-play, 82-yard drive. Moore got behind Michael Davis, who closed in as the ball arrived but couldn’t prevent the catch.

Three plays later, as the Titans were converting a third-and-four, Chargers linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr. was called for roughing the passer to aid Tennessee’s effort.


Chargers retake lead on Keenan Allen’s second touchdown catch today

Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen catches a touchdown pass in front of Tennessee Titans cornerback Tre Avery.
Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen catches a touchdown pass in front of Tennessee Titans cornerback Tre Avery during the first half.
(George Walker IV / Associated Press)

🏈 Chargers 21, Titans 17 — 14:38 left in fourth quarter

The Chargers moved back on top on a 12-yard pass from Justin Herbert to Keenan Allen, Allen’s second score of the game.

The connection came with 14:38 to go in regulation and finished an 80-yard drive that took seven plays.

Herbert hit tight end Stone Smartt for 24 yards and tight end Gerald Everett for 29 yards on consecutive plays to turbo-charge the series.


Ryan Tannehill touchdown run pushes Titans into lead

🏈 Titans 17, Chargers 14 — 10:08 left in third quarter

Tennessee took its first lead of the game on a 12-yard touchdown run by Ryan Tannehill.

The scramble capped a nine-play, 75-yard drive that opened the second half.

Two third-down penalties by the Chargers extended the drive. The first was unnecessary roughness on safety Derwin James Jr. and the second was roughing the passer on defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day.


Chargers hold 14-10 lead over Titans at halftime

🏈 Chargers 14, Titans 10 — Halftime

Nick Folk’s 33-yard field goal pulled Tennessee to within four points at halftime.

The Titans moved 60 yards in nine plays to get in position for the score.

Tennessee had a third-and-four at the Chargers’ 16-yard line in the final minute when Ryan Tannehill completed a pass to Treylon Burks along the sideline.

Chargers linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr. closed quickly on the play to hold Burks to a one-yard gain, leaving the Titans with fourth down and leading to Folk’s 33-yarder.

Tennessee will receive the second-half kickoff.


Chargers tack on another field goal vs. Titans

🏈 Chargers 14, Titans 7 — 4:23 left in the second quarter

The Chargers extended their lead on a 30-yard field goal by Cameron Dicker.

The kick came after Justin Herbert failed to connected with rookie wide receiver Quentin Johnston in the end zone on third down.

Herbert passed 42 yards to Keenan Allen to put the Chargers in scoring position at the Tennessee 15-yard line.

After scoring touchdowns on four of their five trips inside the red zone in Week 1, the Chargers have opened their game one for three.


Justin Herbert connects on stunning touchdown pass before Titans quickly strike back

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert throws against the Tennessee Titans in the first half.
(George Walker IV / Associated Press)

🏈 Chargers 11, Titans 7 — 7:09 left in the second quarter

Justin Herbert hit Keenan Allen for an eight-yard touchdown with 8:16 remaining in the second quarter as the Chargers opened a 11-0 lead on Tennessee.

The score came on fourth-and-four and also include a roughing the passer penalty on Titans defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons.

With the infraction, the Chargers opted to go for two from the one-yard line and Herbert hit tackle Trey Pipkins III for the conversion.

The Titans answered right back, however, when Derrick Henry scored on a one-yard run 67 seconds later. Ryan Tannehill’s 70-yard completion to Treylon Burks set up the touchdown that made it 11-7.

Burks beat Asante Samuel Jr. on the deep ball.


Chargers take early lead on field goal

🏈 Chargers 3, Titans 0 — 3:46 left in the first quarter

NASHVILLE — Cameron Dicker put the Chargers up with a 27-yard field goal.

The Chargers converted a fourth-and-two during the 11-play, 39-yard drive when Justin Herbert hit Mike Williams for a 20-yard gain to the Tennessee seven-yard line.

The possession stalled after that, however, bringing on Dicker.

The Chargers took control of the ball at midfield by stopping the Titans on downs on Tennessee’s first possession.

Kenneth Murray Jr. blitzed and sacked Ryan Tannehill on fourth-and-four for a six-yard loss.


Despite first pick, Chargers’ J.C. Jackson blundered vs. Miami

Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill catches a pass near the goal line as Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson pursues.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

He surrendered only three receptions, but two went for 35 yards and the other for 29.

Add J.C. Jackson’s pass-interference penalty late in the first half, and Sunday was a rocky return for the Chargers cornerback.

On Wednesday, in his first public comments since his team’s season-opening 36-34 loss to Miami, Jackson took responsibility for his most glaring error, the 30-yard, second-quarter infraction that allowed the Dolphins to kick a field goal with no time left.

After Miami took over at its 25-yard line nine seconds before halftime, its lone chance to score before the break required a major Chargers miscue.

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Roundtable: Will the Chargers’ defense bounce back against the Titans?

Chargers safety Derwin James stretches with teammates before the team's season opener.
Chargers safety Derwin James stretches with teammates before the team’s season opener against the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 10.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Rams beat writer Gary Klein, Chargers beat writer Jeff Miller, and columnists Helene Elliott and Dylan Hernández discuss what happened in Week 1 and look ahead at what comes next:

Do you anticipate changes in the Chargers’ secondary after loss to Dolphins?

Jeff Miller: The issue entering Week 2, as I see it, is what to do with cornerback J.C. Jackson, who is coming back from a ruptured patellar tendon and struggled mightily in the opener. Jackson’s injury was significant and one that has prevented other NFL players from ever regaining past form. Can Brandon Staley continue to rely on Jackson as he works his way back? Or do the Chargers have to turn more to Ja’Sir Taylor given how badly they defended the pass Sunday?

Helene Elliott: Not sure what other options the Chargers have to fortify their secondary. Miami’s passing offense is good but the Chargers shouldn’t have given up that many yards. There may be more problems than available solutions.

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Joey Bosa active for Chargers vs. Titans

Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Joey Bosa runs a play during an NFL football game.
Chargers linebacker Joey Bosa chases after the ball against the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 10.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

NASHVILLE — Edge rusher Joey Bosa is active for the Chargers’ game today at Tennessee. Bosa missed practice time leading up to the game because of a hamstring injury suffered in the team’s season opener.

The Chargers’ inactives are running back Austin Ekeler (ankle), linebacker Eric Kendricks (hamstring), linebacker Daiyan Henley (hamstring), edge rusher Chris Rumph II (hamstring), defensive lineman Christopher Hinton, offensive lineman Brenden Jaimes and safety AJ Finley.


Hey, Brandon Staley, it’s Year 3! Why is Chargers’ defense still a sieve?

Chargers coach Brandon Staley embraces linebacker Joey Bosa before a season-opening loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Chargers coach Brandon Staley embraces linebacker Joey Bosa before a season-opening loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 10.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

About that Super Bowl talk by Brandon Staley

Might be juuuust a little premature.

The Chargers finally have a running game but still can’t stop the other team, which should make for plenty of entertaining games and another crushing finish to their season.

Staley’s defense conceded 536 yards in their season-opening 36-34 defeat to the Miami Dolphins at SoFi Stadium on Sunday, with visiting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa linking up with preferred target Tyreek Hill as if they were playing catch at a nearby Darby Park.

Nothing represented the Chargers’ defensive shortcomings as much as the Dolphins’ drive to end the first half. In just nine seconds, the Dolphins marched 53 yards and kicked a 40-yard field goal to take a 20-17 lead into the break.

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Chargers-Titans matchups: Can L.A. run and stop Derrick Henry?

Breaking down how the Chargers (0-1) and the Tennessee Titans (0-1) match up heading into their game at 10 a.m. PDT on Sunday at Tennessee. The game will be shown on CBS and streamed on Paramount+ and NFL+.

When Chargers have the ball

The Chargers' Justin Herbert passes against the Tennessee Titans in 2022.
The Chargers’ Justin Herbert passes during a 17-14 victory over the Tennessee Titans last season. With running back Austin Ekeler out this week, Herbert will need to deliver Sunday.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

In Week 1, Miami routinely deployed two deep safeties, basically asking the Chargers to run. They answered with 234 yards on the ground and a 5.9-yard-per-attempt average. This is an offense that has Justin Herbert and still ran the ball 40 times, five of which were carries by Herbert.

Now comes a Tennessee defense that surrendered the fewest rushing yards in the league last season. The 2022 Titans gave up only nine rushing touchdowns. The Chargers ran for three scores against the Dolphins.

They have big guys up front,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said. “They have solid edges. They have linebackers and safeties who can tackle.”

In its Week 1 loss, Tennessee permitted just 69 yards on 27 rushes to New Orleans. The Saints ran for first downs only twice. That means this could be a game where the Chargers turn back to Herbert, who did throw for 313 yards against the Titans in Week 15 last season.

But Herbert also was picked off twice in that game and failed to throw a touchdown pass as the Chargers won late 17-14. He did engineer the game-winning drive, going 52 yards in 44 seconds to set up Cameron Dicker’s 43-yard field goal in the final 10 seconds.

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Eric Kendricks and Austin Ekeler will not play against Titans

Chargers running back Austin Ekeler walks on the sideline before the team's season opener.
Chargers running back Austin Ekeler walks on the sideline before the team’s season opener against the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 10.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The Chargers on Saturday downgraded running back Austin Ekeler (ankle) to out for their game Sunday at Tennessee. Joshua Kelley is expected to start in Ekeler’s place.

Starting linebacker Eric Kendricks (hamstring) and reserve edge rusher Chris Rumph II (hamstring) also were ruled out.

Star edge rusher Joey Bosa (hamstring) traveled with the team to Nashville and remains questionable for the game. Backup linebacker Daiyan Henley (hamstring) is doubtful.

The Chargers also made two elevations from their practice squad: edge rusher Brevin Allen and safety Dean Marlowe.


Chargers’ defense eyes chance for redemption against Titans

Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill (10) hauls in a 47-yard pass.
Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill (10) hauls in a 47-yard pass past Chargers corner Ja’Sir Taylor on Sept. 10.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

In the aftermath of their opening loss, the Chargers’ general disposition matched their performance: boldly graphic and brutally real.

“We’re pissed off,” safety Alohi Gilman said. “None of us like how that went down.”

Believe it, the Chargers’ Week 1 was a weak one, their pass defense buried in an historically bad showing that ended as a 36-34 defeat to Miami.

They were powerless to stop quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and wide receiver Tyreek Hill, the Dolphins making football a footrace against a secondary that too often appeared to be standing on flat feet.

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