First-year head coach Brandon Staley has been aggressive as anyone when it comes to fourth downs, as the Chargers have made it a part of their identity to go for it.
Los Angeles faced an early fourth-and-goal from the 4-yard line and it was clear the offense would stay on the field to try and finish the opening drive with six points.
The mission was accomplished, as quarterback Justin Herbert fired a strike over the middle to receiver Keenan Allen for a touchdown.
Herbert was 5-of-7 for 53 yards on the drive, completing a 41-yard pass to receiver Mike Williams. He also kept the drive going with a 10-yard pass to Allen on third-and-9.
But Dustin Hopkins’ extra point was no good, as he missed it wide right.
Los Angeles then got more points by picking up a turnover. Outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu strip-sacked Joe Burrow on second-and-8 at the Cincinnati 35. The Chargers couldn’t take full advantage of the extra opportunity, however, after getting backed up by an offensive holding call.
Hopkins was able to hit a 43-yard field goal to give the Chargers a 9-0 lead with 6:28 left in the first quarter.