Chargers vs. Saints takeaways: Easton Stick struggles

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, who is entering his fifth season but first as the backup, also scored two touchdowns while running for 63 yards on seven carries.

He played the entire game, coach Brandon Staley explaining that the increased snaps were significant at this point in Stick’s development.

Chargers quarterback Easton Stick is sacked by New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Jack Heflin.

Chargers quarterback Easton Stick is sacked by New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Jack Heflin (95) in the second half Sunday.

(Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

“Easton needed to play in a game like this,” Staley said. “He was able to fight through some things. He was able to give us a chance to win in the two-minute drill.”

The Chargers had the ball at their own 40-yard line with 2:35 remaining. Stick moved the offense to the Saints’ 28 — converting a fourth-and-23 along the way — but his final, desperate pass on another fourth down was picked off.

For the second consecutive week, Stick did put together an impressive two-minute drive at the end of the first half. He marched the Chargers 74 yards in six plays and scored on a six-yard run.

Overall, however, the offense largely sputtered, the Chargers converting only three of 15 third downs and two of five fourth downs.

“We didn’t protect the passer very well,” Staley said. “I didn’t think we threw it with accuracy. It was inconsistent throughout the night.”

Said Stick of his showing, “Up and down, to say the least.”

Until the final minute of the first quarter, this game featured more earthquakes than Chargers’ first downs. The offense started with three consecutive three-and-outs, all after a 5.1 quake near Ojai shook the stadium about 90 minutes before kickoff.

“I was told that,” Staley said. “I did not feel it.”