LOS ANGELES (WNCN/WJZY/AP) – Carolina’s defense forced three Los Angeles turnovers, Joey Slye kicked five field goals and the Panthers beat the Chargers 21-16, 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.
The seven-year veteran helped the Panthers snap a 10-game losing streak dating to last season. Herbert became the third QB since the merger to pass for 300 yards in his first two starts.
The Panthers had lost their first two games, but took an early lead Sunday against Los Angeles and held on to win.
The Panthers led the Chargers 18-7 at halftime in Los Angeles at the brand new billion-dollar SoFi Stadium.
Carolina was on the scoreboard first with a 37-yard field goal from Joey Slye in the first quarter.
A fumble recovery caused by Brian Burns in the first quarter led to another field goal and the Panthers led 6-0.
The Chargers responded with a touchdown in the second quarter by Austin Ekeler, who ran into the end zone from 12 yards out.
The Panthers kicked another field goal and Mike Davis, who is starting in place of injured Christian McCaffrey, caught a pass from Teddy Bridgewater and punched it into the endzone to give the Panthers a 15-7 lead.
The first half ended after Herbert threw an interception, the team’s 3rd turnover of the half, that was picked off by Donte Jackson. Slye kicked another field goal
The Pro Bowler McCaffrey is missing his first game since being sidelined with an ankle injury. He could miss up to six weeks.
Justin Herbert is starting for the Chargers after Tyrod Taylor was injured when a team doctor accidentally punctured Taylor’s lung a week ago. Herbert is a rookie out of Oregon and was drafted 6th in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
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