Rookie Chargers kicker Josh Lambo pushed a 39-yard field goal try to the right as time expired Sunday, and the Browns and Chargers appeared headed for overtime.
But there was a flag. The Browns were offside — cornerback Tramon Williams was called for it — and Lambo got another try from five yards closer.
Final: Chargers 30, Browns 27.
The teams combined for 31 points in a wild second half. Trailing by eight, the Browns put together an impressive drive with Josh McCown — he played his best game in a Browns’ uniform — and tied the game with 2:09 left on a 1-yard pass to Gary Barnidge and a two-point conversion pass to Taylor Gabriel.
But the Browns gave up too many big plays throughout the day, and Philip Rivers drove the Chargers to set up the winning field goal tries. Rivers passed for 358 yards and three touchdowns. The Browns got one touchdown out of four red-zone opportunities and were penalized 12 times for 91 yards.
“We just made too many mistakes,” Browns coach Mike Pettine said.
It was a difficult way to lose, even by Browns’ standards.
The Browns have spent a lot of money on their defense but have given up 102 points through four games. Neither team played much defense Sunday, though the Chargers sacked McCown four times. The Chargers had just one sack through their first three games.
McCown and the Browns kept moving and kept answering Sunday, though. McCown completed 32-of-41 passes for 356 yards and two touchdowns.
Five Chargers caught at least three passes from Rivers, who completed 23-of-38. His touchdown passes went to Ladarius Green, John Phillips and Keenan Allen.
The Chargers snap a two-game skid and improve to 2-2 on the season. They host the Steelers next week on Monday Night Football.
The Browns drop to 1-3 and are at Baltimore next week.