A week after a solid performance against the Rams, No. 2 quarterback Easton Stick was less consistent, finishing 21-of-41 for 233 yards with two interceptions and a lost fumble.
Stick, entering his fifth season but initially as a backup, also had two touchdowns on a seven-carry 63-yard rush.
He played the entire game, with coach Brandon Staley explaining that the increased snaps were significant at this point in Stick’s development.
“Easton had to play in a game like this,” Staley said. “He was able to get through some things. He was able to give us a chance to win in the two-minute practice session.”
The Chargers had the ball at their own 40-yard line with 2:35 left. Stick switched offense to the Saints’ 28, converting a fourth-and-23 in the process, but his last, desperate pass on another fourth down was blocked.
For the second year in a row, Stick managed an impressive two-minute drive at the end of the first half. He streaked 74 yards in six games with the Chargers and scored on a six-yard streak.
Overall, however, the offensive largely stagnated, the Chargers converted only three of 15 third downs and two of five fourth downs.
“We didn’t protect the passerby very well,” Staley said. “I don’t think we threw it with precision. It was erratic all night.”
Stick said of his performance, “Up and down, to say the least.”
Up to the last minute of the first quarter, there were more earthquakes in this game than the Chargers’ first losses. The offense began with three consecutive hat-tricks, all after a 5.1 magnitude tremor shook the stadium near Ojai about 90 minutes before kick-off.
“I was told that,” Staley said. “I didn’t feel it.”