INGLEWOOD (CNS) - Milestone performances by Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen helped the Los Angeles Chargers rebound from their worst offensive performance in more than a year with a 34-28 victory Sunday over the winless New York Jets at SoFi Stadium.
Herbert completed 37 of 49 passes for 366 yards and three touchdowns, the fifth time in his nine starts he has thrown at least three touchdown passes, setting an NFL rookie record.
Herbert also extended his NFL rookie record streak of throwing multiple touchdown passes to seven games.
Herbert threw for 277 yards in the first half, the most by an NFL rookie since 1980. The previous record was 273 by Andrew Luck in 2012. Herbert's 54-yard pass to Tyron Johnson in the second quarter was his sixth completion of at least 50 yards, the most in the league.
Herbert's performance was “exactly what we expected,'' Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said.
“You have a bad week, you learn from it and I thought today he handled everything really well,'' Lynn said. “He's getting better every single week.''
Herbert had his first sub-200-yard passing game in the NFL in last Sunday's 29-21 loss to the Miami Dolphins, completing 20 of 32 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns with one interception as the Chargers were held to 273 yards, their least since gaining 231 yards in a 17-16 victory over the Chicago Bears Oct. 27, 2019.
Allen caught a team-record 16 passes for 195 yards and one touchdown. He shared the previous record of 15 with running back Austin Ekeler and Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow.
Allen's receptions gave him 605 for his career, tying Antonio Brown as the fastest players to reach 600 receptions in NFL history, 96 games. The game was his sixth with at least 13 receptions, breaking the NFL record he shared with Brown and Wes Welker.
The Chargers (3-7) ended a three-game losing streak and run of seven losses in eight games by scoring the final 24 points of the first half to take a 24-6 halftime lead, building enough of a cushion to compensate allowing the Jets (0-10) to score touchdowns on each of their first three second-half possessions.
The Chargers scored their first points with three minutes, 20 seconds left in the first quarter when cornerback Tevaughn Campbell made the first interception of his eight-game NFL career and returned the ball 6 yards for a touchdown, one play after Allen caught a 14-yard pass from Herbert to advance the ball New York's 1-yard line, but fumbled the ball away.
“The interception I threw was really bad,'' New York quarterback Joe Flacco said. “I threw it way behind (Jamison) Crowder. I didn't get my hips out there.
“At best, we should have had probably a completion, maybe to the slant and at worst, we should have had an incompletion over Crowder's head and instead they end up with seven points on the board.''
Herbert threw 39- and 6-yard touchdown passes to Mike Williams and Hunter Henry on back-to-back possessions. Michael Badgley kicked a 44-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.
The Jets cut the deficit to 34-26 with 4:00 to play on Flacco's 6-yard touchdown pass to tight end Christopher Herndon. New York forced the Chargers to punt after three plays on the ensuing possession and got the ball back on their 46-yard line with 2:48 remaining after Braxton Berrios' 16-yard return.
A third-down roughing the passer penalty against defensive end Joey Bosa both wiped out his 11-yard sack of Flacco and gave the Jets a first down on the Chargers' 33-yard line with 2:00 left.
New York turned the ball over on downs at the Chargers' 32-yard line with 1:46 to play after Flacco threw three consecutive incomplete passes.
Chargers punter Ty Long was pushed out of bounds in the end zone for an intentional safety with one second left.
Flacco threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to receiver Breshad Perriman on the Jets' first second-half possession.
Running back Frank Gore ran 1 yard for a touchdown on its second, capping a 10-play, 75-yard drive in which New York picked up two first downs onpass interference penalties and a third on an illegal contact penalty. Sam Ficken missed his second extra point of the game, keeping the score 31-19.
The Chargers' second-half scores came on Herbert's 13-yard touchdown pass to Allen with 5:33 left in the third quarter and Badgley's 23-yard field goal with 6:42 to play in the fourth.
Flacco completed 15 of 30 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns with one interception in his second consecutive start and fourth in six games in place of former USC and San Clemente High standout Sam Darnold, who is sidelined with an injury to his right shoulder.
The Chargers outgained the Jets, 376-292, led 28-20 in first downs and 36:28-23:32 in time of possession.
New York opened the scoring on its first possession on La'Mical Perine's 5-yard run. Ficken missed the extra point wide left.
The touchdown came four plays after Long had a punt blocked for the second consecutive game, with the Jets recovering on the Chargers' 29-yard line.
“The young man did not block his man,'' Lynn said. “He got beat and he got beat bad.
“It's the second week in a row that we've started out that way and it's not fair to put the defense on the field in those situations, but I do expect the defense to step up and protect the end zone, but that's completely unacceptable. That's all I'm going to say about that.''
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