Chargers at a Loss on Special Teams

Joshua Palmer fights his way to the endzone for the Chargers first touchdown on the night. (Photo by Duane Barker)

By Tim Peterson

(Inglewood) – The Chargers allowed 14 points in the last 52 seconds of the first half and went on to lose to Dallas 32-18 before 69, 014 fans at SoFi Stadium Saturday night.

The Chargers were down 15-10 late in the first quarter when the wheels came off in the last minute of the first half. First KaVontae Turpin returned a punt 86 yards for a touchdown to make it 22-10. It was Turpin’s second touchdown return of the night. He had returned a kickoff 98 yards for a score in the first quarter as the Chargers experienced a special teams breakdown.

Then the Chargers fumbled and the Cowboys recovered deep in LA territory. The Cowboys capitalized when Malik Davis scored on a one-yard run with 22 seconds left. Just like that 15-10 became 29-10 and the Cowboys took that lead into the half and never looked back.

The Chargers scored first on a 22-yard field goal by Dustin Hopkins with 6:17 left in the first quarter.

Turpin took the ensuing kickoff back 98 yards to give the Cowboys a 7-3 lead.

The Chargers answered with a 12-play, 82-yard drive to go up 10-7. Easton Stick culminated the march with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Joshua Palmer.

Dallas came right back with a 12-play, 69 yard drive. Rico Dowdie went over from one-yard out. Cooper Rush then found Jake Ferguson in the endzone for a two-point conversion and with 8:18 left in the second quarter the Cowboys were up 15-10.

Easton Stick got the start for the Chargers (Photo by Duane Barker)

The Cowboys then erupted for 14 points in the last minute and the Chargers could never dig themselves out of the hole.

After a scoreless third quarter Lirim Hajrullahu added a 35-yard field goal for Dallas early in the fourth to make it 32-10.

The Chargers had to work hard to contain the Cowboys offense and special teams. (Photo by Duane Barker)

The Chargers pieced together an 11-play, 58-yard drive late in the fourth quarter. Chase Daniel hit Michael Bandy on a one-yard touchdown pass to finish the drive. Gabe Nabers then hauled in a pass from Daniel for the two-point conversion with 1:27 left to account for the 32-18 final.

The Cowboys took a couple of knees to end it.

For the Chargers Stick completed 11 of 20 for 134 yards and a score with one interception. Daniel was 13 of 21 for 111 yards and a touchdown.

Palmer caught 3 passes for 75 yards and a touchdown while Bandy continued his impressive performance in the preseason with 8 catches for 69 yards and a score.

For the Cowboys, Turpin was the story with the two big touchdown returns. Will Grier completed 6 of 10 for 98 yards and Rush was 3 of 6 for 32. Dowdie led the running game with 13 carries for 44 yards and a touchdown while Davis ran for 37 yards and a score on 8 carries.

The Chargers fell to 0-2 in the preseason and will have one more crack at a victory next Friday night in New Orleans. The Cowboys improved to 1-1.

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