The Chargers were able to hang on and win a back-and-forth game over the Browns 30-28 — a game they almost lost with a curious coaching decision late in the game.
Los Angeles faced fourth-and-2 at their own 46 with 1:14 on the clock and Cleveland had no timeouts. The Chargers initially lined up to go for it but called timeout, presumably to send out the punt team and make Cleveland drive the length of the field.
But instead, the Chargers tried to win it by actually going for it. And quarterback Justin Herbert’s pass fell incomplete for a critical turnover on downs.
The Browns then got in position to win the game with quarterback Jacoby Brissett’s 10-yard pass over the middle to receiver Amari Cooper. But Cade York pushed his 54-yard field goal with 16 seconds left wide right — bailing out Staley and sending the Chargers back to the West Coast a winner.
It was the second missed field goal of the day for York, who also missed a 45-yard attempt wide right at the end of the first half.
The Browns also had a chance to go ahead on their previous drive, but Brissett threw an interception on third-and-7 from the Chargers’ 9-yard line. It looked like Brissett had a lane to run at least for a first down, but he tried to hit Cooper in the end zone and the pass was picked off by safety Alohi Gilman.
The Chargers and Browns ran the hell out of the ball with Los Angeles totaling 238 yards and Cleveland totaling 213. Austin Ekeler led the way with 173 yards, including a 71-yard run.
Quarterback Justin Herbert had a solid day, completing 22-of-34 passes for 228 yards with a touchdown. Receiver Mike Williams was the main target in the passing game, recording 10 catches for 134 yards.
On the other side, Brissett finished 21-of-34 for 230 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Running back Nick Chubb finished with 134 yards on 17 carries with a pair of touchdowns.
Now at 3-2, the Chargers host the Broncos next Monday night.
The 2-3 Browns will host the Patriots in Week Six.