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Dolphins vs. Chargers final score, results: Justin Herbert shines, Tua Tagovailoa struggles, LA’s playoff odds improve

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If Sunday night’s game was a referendum on the 2020 NFL Draft, Justin Herbert won.

Herbert was in command of the Chargers’ offense from start to finish as Los Angeles dominated time of possession and exhausted the Dolphins’ defense.

The Chargers’ only shortcoming on offense was an inability to finish drives in the second half, but field goals were enough to close out Miami 23-17. Los Angeles stuck with what was working, so Herbert ended up throwing 51 passes. He completed 39 for 367 yards and a touchdown.

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Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa had a night to forget, finishing 10 for 28 for 145 yards and a touchdown. He finished the first half with only three completions against an undermanned Chargers defense and struggled to find a rhythm in the second half.

Much of the Dolphins’ offensive output was limited to two plays: A 57-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by Tyreek Hill, and a 60-yard touchdown reception by Hill. Hill would finish the game on the sideline with an ankle injury.

While Miami’s defense was able to hold the Chargers to field goals in the second half and stay in striking distance until the end, the offense couldn’t deliver a momentum-shifting drive.

It has been an underwhelming year for the Chargers (7-6), but a win over an AFC contender keeps their playoff hopes very much alive and could serve as a confidence-booster ahead of the stretch run. In fact, the Chargers now hold the AFC’s final playoff spot — at least until the Patriots play on Monday.

The Dolphins (8-5) are still in playoff position, but the loss means they can no longer take first place in the AFC East from the Bills with a win next week.

MORE: Watch NFL games live with fuboTV (free trial)

The Sporting News tracked live scoring updates and highlights as the Chargers hosted the Dolphins on “Sunday Night Football.” Check out all of the key moments you may have missed from the Week 14 matchup. 

Dolphins vs. Chargers score

   1   2   3   4   F 
Dolphins 0 7 7 3 17
Chargers 0 17 3 3 23

Dolphins vs. Chargers live updates, highlights from ‘Sunday Night Football’

(All times Eastern)

Final: Chargers 23, Dolphins 17

11:24 p.m. — The Dolphins had a GREAT to recover the onside kick as the ball rolled around, but the Chargers manage to come away with it. That was too close for comfort for LA, but the Chargers will win this one. A huge win for Brandon Staley’s team, and a statement performance by Herbert.

Chargers 23, Dolphins 17

11:26 p.m. FIELD GOAL — We’re not done yet. Jason Sanders connects from 55 yards out and makes it a one-possession game with 1:10 remaining. Notably, Tyreek Hill was on the sideline on that drive.

11:24 p.m. — The Dolphins are into Chargers territory now after catches by Waddle and Trent Sherfield. Clock is ticking…

11:20 p.m. TWO-MINUTE WARNING — The Dolphins aren’t moving quickly enough, to say the least. Miami is still looking to get across midfield.

Chargers 23, Dolphins 14

11:15 p.m. FIELD GOAL — The Chargers don’t get the touchdown, but they take a two-possession lead with under three minutes on the clock. The Dolphins need a miracle.

11:12 p.m. — Austin Ekeler has struggled on the ground tonight, but he bruises his way to a huge first down. The Chargers are inside the 10-yard line.

11:11 p.m. — Now Herbert makes it happen with his legs and runs for a first down. LA is clearly in field goal range now and looking for more.

11:10 p.m. — The Chargers are approaching field goal range, which is massive with under six minutes on the clock. 

11:07 p.m. — Herbert is approaching 50 pass attempts tonight. He’s 37-of-48 for 353 yards and a touchdown.

11:05 p.m. — Herbert somehow threads a ball through a defender and into the hands of Keenan Allen for a first down. The Chargers have some breathing room now.

11 p.m. — It’s going to be another punt for the Dolphins. An underwhelming ending to a drive that looked like it was destined to turn into some points.

10:59 p.m. — Now an intentional grounding call sets the Dolphins back to 3rd & 19. Tagovailoa threw downfield to nobody while under pressure.

10:58 p.m. — With Chargers defenders all over his receivers, Tagovailoa has been using his legs more than usual tonight. He runs for a first down to get Miami into Chargers territory.

10:56 p.m. — Jaylen Waddle is finally on the board with a reception, giving the Dolphins a first down.

End of third quarter: Chargers 20, Dolphins 14

10:51 p.m. — And now the Dolphins quickly force a three-and-out as Keenan Allen is stopped a yard shy of the first down marker. Tagovailoa still only has four completions. Can he put the Dolphins in front here?

10:49 p.m. — Morgan Fox blows up Miami’s drive with a sack of Tagovailoa on third down. It’ll be a punt for the Dolphins as the Chargers aim to make this a two-possession game.

10:47 p.m. — Tagovailoa with a nice run up the middle to take the Dolphins over midfield.

Chargers 20, Dolphins 14

10:44 p.m. FIELD GOAL — That fizzled out quickly. The Chargers are forced to kick a short-range field goal, and the Dolphins now have a chance to take the lead on this next drive.

10:41 p.m. — What a catch by Mike Williams! 56-yard gain. This is what we expected from this game. Herbert with a tremendous throw, and the Chargers are quickly in the red zone.

Chargers 17, Dolphins 14

10:35 p.m. TOUCHDOWN — The Dolphins FINALLY get some traction on offense. Tagovailoa hits Tyreek Hill for a 60-yard touchdown. Hill shakes off Michael Davis and walks into the end zone. Three-point game.

10:29 p.m. — The Dolphins are able to force a punt anyway after an illegal block penalty set the Chargers back. Miami does end up losing field position as a result of the call on Phillips.

10:25 p.m. — Oh man. Jaelan Phillips looks like he gets his second sack of the night to force a punt, but officials call it roughing the passer. That’s going to cause some controversy. There’s not much else Phillips could’ve done there.

10:19 p.m. — Tagovailoa is 3-of-17, unbelievably. This is shaping up to be the Dolphins’ worst offensive performance of the Mike McDaniel era, though the defense can keep the game within reach with another stop here.

10:14 p.m. — Miami’s defense comes up with a quick stop, so Tagovailoa will quickly have a chance to put the first half behind him. Tyreek Hill is on the field.

10:11 p.m. — Miami also announced Jeff Wilson Jr. won’t return tonight. It’ll be an uphill battle for the Dolphins in the second half, but first the defense will have to deliver.

10:09 p.m. — The Dolphins announced Tyreek Hill is questionable to return with an ankle injury. 

End of first half: Chargers 17, Dolphins 7

9:57 p.m. — Tagovailoa ends the first half 3-of-15 for 25 yards. Herbert has been terrific, but the Chargers’ undermanned defense was the MVP of that half.

Chargers 17, Dolphins 7

9:53 p.m. TOUCHDOWN — Staley gets his touchdown this time! He goes for it on 4th & Goal and is rewarded with a score by Austin Ekeler. A great drive by the Chargers puts LA up 17-7 in the final minute of the first half.

9:50 p.m. — An Ekeler catch-and-run goes all the way down to the 1-yard line, but he’s forced out of bounds. Here’s a 4th & Goal decision for Brandon Staley.

9:46 p.m. — Jaelan Phillips sacks Herbert in the red zone to disrupt the Chargers’ momentum. LA has 2nd & Goal from the 15, and considering they have possession out of halftime, forcing a field goal is critical here for the Dolphins.

9:40 p.m. TWO-MINUTE WARNING — Herbert is getting anything he wants right now. The Chargers aren’t carving up Miami’s secondary, necessarily, but they’re pushing down the field with short passes. 

9:36 p.m. — The Dolphins say Jeff Wilson Jr. is questionable to return with a hip injury. Looks like he’s trying to get back in, though. 

9:34 p.m. — Another punt from the Dolphins. Tagovailoa is 3-of-14 for 25 yards and might end the half that way. Here’s a big opportunity for the Chargers to put points on the board and do it again out of halftime.

9:33 p.m. — A false start has Miami buried on 3rd & 14. It’s going to take a big throw from Tagovailoa to get out of this. 

9:30 p.m. — The Dolphins are nearing midfield after a big third down catch up the middle by Cedrick Wilson. That’s only Tagovailoa’s third completion.

9:27 p.m. — Jeff Wilson Jr. opens Miami’s drive with a 20-yard run to give the Dolphins some breathing room.

9:24 p.m. — The Dolphins’ defense chases down Herbert on 3rd & 10. That’ll go down as a sack for Eric Rowe. The momentum has quickly shifted in this one.

Chargers 10, Dolphins 7

9:17 p.m. — What was that?? Jeff Wilson Jr. fumbles the ball, a pile of players can’t come up with it, and Tyreek Hill somehow scoops it up and takes it 57 yards for a touchdown. Wow!

9:15 p.m. — Tagovailoa is just 2-of-9 for 13 yards, but a pass interference call does give Miami a quick first down.

Chargers 10, Dolphins 0

9:09 p.m. TOUCHDOWN — What a difference-maker Mike Williams can be. Williams goes up and grabs a pass from Herbert in the back of the end zone and somehow gets both feet down. The Chargers lead by 10.

9:08 p.m. — There goes Joshua Kelley! After the Chargers took over with great field position, Kelley breaks free to take LA deep into the red zone.

9:03 p.m. — Kyle Van Noy takes down Tagovailoa for the Chargers’ first sack of the night. Here comes another Dolphins punt.

9:02 p.m. — Tyreek Hill gained separation downfield, but there was a disconnect between him and Tagovailoa. Pass could’ve been better, but Hill also didn’t seem to know where the ball was.

Chargers 3, Dolphins 0

8:59 p.m. FIELD GOAL — Ekeler can’t make up the yardage on 3rd & 16, but Cameron Dicker drills a 33-yard field goal. The Chargers strike first.

End of first quarter: Dolphins 0, Chargers 0

8:55 p.m. — Christian Wilkins caps off a great quarter with a sack of Herbert. That’s a scoreless first quarter in this matchup of high-flying offenses.

8:54 p.m. — A new angle shows Palmer got that foot down! Herbert is 10-of-11 passing to start the night.

8:50 p.m. — Herbert’s starting to sling it after a conservative start. Joshua Palmer gets some nice separation and appears to make a catch along the sideline, but Miami is challenging. Not sure he got the second foot down there.

8:48 p.m. — Mike Williams is doing big things early on. Herbert finds him up the middle for a 19-yard gain.

8:45 p.m. — The Dolphins are punting from deep in their own territory. Tagovailoa threw into traffic and predictably got nothing out of it.

8:44 p.m. — Or maybe the Chargers do have a chance at good field position… A false start backs up the Dolphins and forces a 3rd & 15.

8:42 p.m. — Tagovailoa’s first completion of the night is a pass up the middle to Tyreek Hill for a key first down. That’ll at least prevent the Chargers from getting great field position if this drive ends in a punt.

8:38 p.m. — Herbert tosses it to DeAndre Carter on 4th & Goal, but Carter trips over himself and goes down. I’m not sure he was going to get in even if he managed to stay on his feet. The Dolphins’ defense escapes unscathed.

8:37 p.m. — The Dolphins’ defense holds Keenan Allen out of the end zone on 3rd & Goal, but Brandon Staley is going for it…

8:35 p.m. — The Chargers are knocking on the door after a first down catch-and-run by Gerald Everett.

8:32 p.m. — There’s a shot downfield! Xavien Howard covered Mike Williams as well as he could, but Williams still came away with the ball to put the Chargers in the red zone. 

8:31 p.m. — Ekeler is getting plenty of touches early on. The Chargers aren’t taking any shots downfield yet, but they’ve moved into Dolphins territory.

8:30 p.m. — The drive nearly fizzles out after a pair of Herbert incompletions, but a defensive holding penalty gives the Chargers new life. Bad penalty by the Dolphins.

8:27 p.m. — The Chargers’ opening drive starts much better than Miami’s with back-to-back first downs. 

8:26 p.m. — The Dolphins went after the Chargers’ injury replacements on the opening drive and couldn’t find anything. Punt coming. Nice start by LA’s undermanned defense.

8:24 p.m. — Tagovailoa opens the game with a shot downfield to Tyreek Hill, but it falls incomplete.

8:23 p.m. — The Chargers kick off for a touchback, and we’ll see Tua Tagovailoa first in this battle of 2020 first-round picks.

8:12 p.m. — No one on the NBC pre-game show picked the Chargers. Bad omen for Miami?

7:48 p.m. — Justin Jefferson leapfrogged Tyreek Hill to become the NFL’s leading receiver this season, but 122 yards tonight would be enough for Hill to climb back on top.

7:45 p.m. — The Dolphins have the high-profile receiving duo in this game, but Mike Williams and Keenan Allen are finally healthy together for the Chargers.

Dolphins vs. Chargers start time

  • Date: Sunday, Dec. 11
  • Time: 8:20 p.m. ET 

Dolphins vs. Chargers will kick off at 8:20 p.m. ET. The game will be played at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. 

What channel is Dolphins vs. Chargers on today?

  • TV channel (national): NBC (U.S.) | TSN2, CTV2, RDS2 (Canada)
  • Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports App, Peacock | fuboTV (U.S.) | DAZN (Canada)

The game will be broadcast nationally on NBC. Mike Tirico (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (color commentary) and Melissa Stark (sideline reporter) will be on the call from Inglewood.

A live stream of the game will be available on NBCSports.con, the NBC Sports app, Peacock, and fuboTV, which offers a free trial.

Viewers in Canada can watch the game on TSN2, CTV2 or RDS2. They can also stream it with DAZN, which carries every NFL game.


Credit: sportingnews.com

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