Justin Herbert flourishes in the spotlight, leads Chargers to crucial win over Dolphins


Justin Herbert and his near-pinpoint accuracy guided the Los Angeles Chargers to a 23-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday night.

Los Angeles moved to 7-6 and was certainly still in the hunt to catch the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West, though it seems unlikely. The Dolphins fell to 8-5, allowing the Buffalo Bills to get some breathing room in the race for the AFC West.

The story of the game was Herbet, who matched up against his 2020 NFL Draft classmate. And he was outstanding.

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Mike Williams #81 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates a touchdown in the first quarter during a game  at SoFi Stadium on December 11, 2022 in Inglewood, California.
(Harry How/Getty Images)

Herbert and the Chargers started the scoring in the second quarter with a Cameron Dicker 33-yard field goal. But on the Chargers’ second drive, Herbert found Mike Williams in the back of the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown pass. Williams somehow kept his feet in bounds to secure the touchdown.

Before the quarter was over, Herbert led Los Angeles on a 13-play, 90-yard drive that ended with an Austin Ekeler touchdown to go up 17-7 at the half.

The offensive showing slowed just a bit in the third quarter as the team punted on their first two drives of the second half. The team didn’t score a touchdown rather opting for two Dicker field goals. The last one came with 2:40 left in the game and capped off a 17-play, 79-yard drive that lasted nearly 9 minutes.

DOLPHINS’ TYREEK HILL SCORES TOUCHDOWN ON CHAOTIC FUMBLE RECOVERY VS. CHARGERS

Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers warms up during a game against the Miami Dolphins at SoFi Stadium on December 11, 2022 in Inglewood, California.

Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers warms up during a game against the Miami Dolphins at SoFi Stadium on December 11, 2022 in Inglewood, California.
(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Herbert finished the game 39-for-51 with 367 passing yards and a touchdown pass. Williams led the Chargers with six catches for 116 yards. Keenan Allen had 12 catches for 92 yards in the win.

Herbert, now with 13,056 passing yards, has the most passing yards in his first three seasons than any quarterback in NFL history.

Ekeler finished with 45 rushing yards.

Tua Tagovailoa struggled in the game despite the breaks Miami got during the game. He finished 10-of-28 passing with 145 yards and a touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill.

The wide receiver, who appeared to be injured during the game, finished with four catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. Hill also recovered a fumble and ran it 57 yards for a touchdown.

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) scores a touchdown after recovering a fumble during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif.

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) scores a touchdown after recovering a fumble during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Jaylen Waddle had two catches for 31 yards and Cedrick Wilson had two catches for 19 yards.

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Things are now a little bit tighter as the NFL season hits the home stretch. Both teams would be in the playoffs if the season ended Sunday night.



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