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Chargers dispatch Rams easily, extend winning streak to 4 in a row

INGLEWOOD — Justin Herbert threw two touchdown passes in the second half after Austin Ekeler ran for two scores in the first, and the playoff-bound Chargers defeated the Rams 31-10 on Sunday at SoFi Stadium for their fourth consecutive victory in only the 13th game between the teams since 1970.

The Chargers improved to 10-6 with their regular-season finale next weekend against the Broncos in Denver. The Rams (5-11) will miss the playoffs one season after winning the Super Bowl. They complete their season with a road game against the Seattle Seahawks next weekend.

The Chargers were determined to establish their running game in the early going, and it worked wonders as Ekeler scored on runs of 10 and 72 yards in the first half, giving him a career-high 13 rushing touchdowns this season. The Chargers built a 17-10 lead while compiling 133 yards in the first half.

Ekeler had 102 yards on six carries by halftime, and finished with 122 yards on 10 carries.

The Rams weren’t bashful about running, either. Cam Akers had 97 yards on 13 carries in the first half.  Akers’ 42-yard run set up Matt Gay’s 23-yard field goal with 1:09 left in the first quarter, giving the Rams a 3-0 lead. They were the first first-quarter points the Chargers gave up in five games.

Akers finished with 123 yards on 19 carries.

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The Chargers countered with Ekeler’s touchdown runs of 10 and 72 yards and Cameron Dicker’s 40-yard field goal in the second quarter. Malcolm Brown scored the Rams’ lone touchdown on a 23-yard run that cut the Chargers’ lead to 14-10 with 4:09 remaining in the half.

Herbert’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Gerald Everett was the Chargers’ first third-quarter touchdown since their victory over the Cleveland Browns in Week 5. It also extended their lead to 24-10.. Herbert also threw a 3-yard touchdown to Donald Parham Jr. that made it 31-10 in the fourth.

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