There was a sense of urgency for the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 14. Sunday night was labeled as a must-win game for the Chargers as they attempt to keep their playoff hopes alive – and they delivered in front of a primetime audience.
Justin Herbert and the Chargers upset the Miami Dolphins, 23-17, in what was a dominant performance from Los Angeles.
Herbert passed for 367 yards and tossed one touchdown. Wide receiver Keenan Allen had 12 catches for 92 yards.
The win was Los Angeles’ first victory this season against a team with a winning record. The loss was Miami’s second in a row.
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Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) celebrates his 10-yard touchdown reception against the Miami Dolphins.
Chargers welcome back Mike Williams
Mike Williams, who had been injured since Week 11 with an ankle injury, returned to the lineup in Week 14.
The 6-foot-4 wideout made a huge impact in his return.
Williams produced six catches, 116 yards and a touchdown.
Williams has four games with over 100 receiving yards this season.
Chargers dominate first half
The Chargers amassed 249 yards in the first half compared to just 55 by the Dolphins.
Herbert was outstanding. He was 24-of-29 passing for 222 yards and a touchdown in the first half.
The Chargers defense, playing without star safety Derwin James, held the Dolphins to just five first downs in the first half and the Dolphins only score came on a fluke fumble recovery.
Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa was 3-of-15 passing for 25 yards in the first half.
Tua Tagovailoa rough outing in dual versus draftmate Justin Herbert
Tagovailoa, Herbert, Joe Burrow and Jalen Hurts will be linked forever. The four are all part of the 2020 draft class. But Tagovailoa and Herbert were selected with successive picks at No. 5 and no. 6 jumpsuit.
Tagovailoa was inaccurate on several throws and looked uncomfortable all night. He was 10-for-28 passing for 125 yards and a TD.
On the other side, Herbert was the best player on the field.
Facing constant pressure, Herbert maneuvered well in the pocket to create time and picked apart the Dolphins defense.
Herbert — who topped 300 passing yards for the 20th time in his career last week, the most in NFL history in a player’s first three career seasons — passed for 367 yards and one touchdown. He finished with a 102.3 passer rating.
Chargers defense stands tall
Playing without Derwin James, Joey Bosa and others, the Chargers defense performed well.
The Chargers had the Dolphins off-balance on offense all night and Tagovailoa wasn’t comfortable all night.
Los Angeles held Miami to 219 total yards. The Dolphins went 3-for-11 on third downs.
The Chargers went into the game with the NFL’s 26th-ranked defense, allowing 371 yards per game.
Tyreek Hill scores unconventional TD
Tyreek Hill had one of the most bizarre touchdowns in NFL history in the second quarter.
Dolphins RB Jeff Wilson Jr fumbled the football. A pile of Dolphins and Chargers were trying to recover the loose football. While they were attempting to corral the loose ball, it inadvertently bounced to Hill.
Hill grabbed the football and raced down the field for a 57-yard touchdown.
Many believe Hill is the fastest man in the NFL. He ran 21.78 mph on his fumble return touchdown, according to NFL Next Gen Stats.
Hill was bothered by a nagging hamstring in the loss.
The win moved the Chargers (7-6) into the coveted seventh spot in the AFC wild-card race. If the Patriots defeat the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night, New England would move to seventh seed with four regular-season games remaining.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Tyler Dragon on Twitter @TheTylerDragon.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Los Angeles Chargers win critical SNF game vs. Miami Dolphins