los angeles Chargers protection Derwin James Jr. And left guard Matt Feiler hoisted rookie kicker Cameron Dicker onto their shoulders in birthday celebration at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Moments earlier, Dicker converted a 37-yard field intention as time expired to lift the Chargers to a 20-17 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
“i was satisfied for him,” James stated after the game. “that’s what makes the NFL cool. When your quantity is referred to as, you obtain to make the play for the team.”
Handiest four days in advance, Dicker canceled his plans to attend a Carrie Underwood live performance in his fatherland of Austin, Texas, so he may want to dash to the airport to seize a final-minute flight to l. A., where the Chargers wanted to signal him.
“it’s been wild,” Dicker stated of his week. “it is been fun.”
The game-triumphing discipline purpose became the second this season for Dicker, who converted a 23-backyard try in Week 5 to present the Philadelphia Eagles a 20-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals, incomes him NFC special groups participant of the Week.
However, the Eagles cut Dicker, a member in their practice squad, on Oct. 29 in a series of roster actions. He back home for only 4 days before answering what he defined as an surprising call from the Chargers.
“to finish the game together with your kicker, this is our 0.33 kicker, we are going to set the NFL record for sport balls for kickers,” instruct Brandon Staley said. “… I assume he represents what this season has been about for us. It takes anyone on the team to win.”
The Chargers scrambled to sign Dicker to the practice squad Thursday after backup Taylor Bertolet suffered a quad harm in exercise an afternoon earlier, then improved him to the active roster Saturday. Starter Dustin Hopkins has been sidelined considering the fact that Week 7 because of a hamstring injury.
Regardless of gambling Sunday with out huge receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, the Chargers improved to five-three and continue to be in rivalry to earn their first playoff berth due to the fact that 2018.
“We needed this sport, particularly on the road,” James said. “we are proper inside the hunt with wherein we need to be for our season dreams.”
Dicker’s discipline aim capped what all of sudden changed into a wild end.
With 46 seconds ultimate in a 17-17 recreation, the Chargers advanced to the Falcons’ 22-yard line. No matter being within field goal variety, the Chargers elected to run another play as quarterback Justin Herbert surpassed off to Ekeler.
“We were looking to get the ball to the left hash,” Staley stated. “this is a completely secure play. It is a safe run. … We desired to advantage a few yards if we should and get it closer.”
However Ekeler fumbled. Falcons protecting lineman Ta’Quon Graham picked up the ball and made his way down the sphere before fumbling the ball himself. Feiler made the restoration for the Chargers, however they lost 21 yards at the play because the clock ticked down to 34 seconds.
“We usually practice walking after the ball in case something like that happens,” a relieved Feiler stated. “So i was just kind of doing that … And happily it bounced our way.”
Herbert determined huge receiver Joshua Palmer for a 22-yard strike to position the Chargers returned in area goal variety, permitting the game-winning kick and ensuing birthday celebration.
“i used to be similar to, ‘Wow!'” Ekeler said of Dicker’s recreation-triumphing boot. “similar to, thank you. We’ve got been thru such a lot of kickers.”
Herbert finished 30 of 43 passes for 245 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Ekeler rushed for forty seven yards and a landing on 14 consists of and caught seven passes for twenty-four yards and a touchdown. He have become most effective the third participant in NFL history with 10 video games with both a dashing and receiving landing in his first six seasons, becoming a member of Alvin Kamara and Christian McCaffrey.
But it became Dicker’s effort that, ultimately, the Chargers needed maximum.
“It became the first time i have ever been lifted up like that,” Dicker said of the postgame celebration. “It was all a blur.”