Badgley’s FG on final play propels Chargers past Falcons

Michael Badgley hit a 43-yard field goal as time expired and the Los Angeles Chargers rallied for a 20-17 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

Los Angeles got the ball on its 26 after Michael Davis picked off Matt Ryan’s pass intended for Calvin Ridley. Justin Herbert completions of 15 yards to Hunter Henry and 25 yards to Tyron Johnson to get into Badgley’s range. After Kalen Ballage’s 1-yard run, Badgley came on and split the uprights for the second game-winning kick of his career.

Herbert was 36 of 44 for 243 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Austin Ekeler had 146 scrimmage yards (79 rushing, 67 receiving) as Los Angeles (4-9) snapped a two-game losing streak.

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 13: Tyron Johnson #83 of the Los Angeles Chargers carries the ball against Isaiah Oliver #26 of the Atlanta Falcons during the second quarter at SoFi Stadium on December 13, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Se

Ryan completed 21 of 32 passes for 224 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions. Calvin Ridley, who went over 1,000 receiving yards for the season, had eight receptions for 124 yards and a score. The Falcons (4-9) were without four starters, including star wide receiver Julio Jones.

After Rayshawn Jenkins picked off a pass intended for Ridley in the end zone, LA went 80 yards in 13 plays, which was capped off by Herbert rolling right and throwing a 12-yard strike to Johnson to even it at 17 in the third quarter.

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Atlanta went three-and-out on its opening possession before scoring on its next three drives on Ridley’s 39-yard touchdown catch, Younghoe Koo’s 45-yard field goal and Laquon Treadwell’s 9-yard touchdown for a 17-10 halftime lead.


Keenan Allen — who had nine receptions for 52 yards — passed Antonio Brown with the most receptions in a player’s first 100 games. The eighth-year receiver has 623 receptions in 99 games. Brown had 622 and Atlanta’s Julio Jones had 619.

The Chargers got points on an opening drive for the first time in seven games when Herbert found Allen near the right front pylon of the end zone for a 10-yard TD.


With Ryan lined up at wide receiver, Russell Gage took the direct snap and threw a 39-yard touchdown to Ridley to tie it at 7. It is the second pass the third-year receiver has thrown, but his first completion and touchdown.

The previous time the Falcons had a wide receiver pass for a TD was Mohamed Sanu in the 2018 regular-season finale against Tampa Bay.

Los Angeles is the first team since Houston in 2014 to allow two receivers to throw for scores in a season. Buffalo’s Cole Beasley connected with Gabriel Davis for a 20-yard score on Nov. 29.

The Chargers’ special teams have been abysmal all year, but showed some signs of improvement.

After Koo made a 45-yard field goal to give the Falcons a 10-7 lead in the second quarter, Nasir Adderley returned the ensuing kickoff 76 yards to the Atlanta 23. Four plays later, Badgley was good from 35 yards to even it at 10.


Falcons: DT Marlon Davidson suffered a knee injury early in the third quarter and did not return.


Falcons: Host Tampa Bay next Sunday.