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Broncos Chargers live: Denver’s defense steals some momentum late in the first quarter; offense gives it back

After a nice opening drive, the Denver Broncos offense began to falter while the defense came alive.

NFL: San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers won the opening toss and deferred to the second half, giving Trevor Siemian and the Denver Broncos the ball to start the game.

To open things up after a short completion, Siemian rolled out and set his feet perfectly for a deep throw to Demaryius Thomas that was thrown short and broken up easily by the Chargers. On third and seven, Siemian hit Jordan Taylor on a short pass over the middle who would take it 35 yards into San Diego territory.

Siemian would hit Thomas for an eleven yard gain for another first down, then hit Thomas again over the middle for a fifteen yard gain and a first down inside the red zone. The drive would stall there and Brandon McManus would come out for a field goal attempt.

Broncos 3, Chargers 0.

On the Chargers first drive, Phillip Rivers, after a five yard run from Melvin Gordon, threw an incomplete pass. On third down, Rivers had all day to throw and found Travis Benjamin for the first down.

A break down in coverage left the Chargers fullback wide open for a 53 yard gain, setting up a first and goal for the Chargers.

The Broncos defense stiffened and on third and goal from the seven, Rivers hit Antonio Gates over the middle who was barely able to reach out for the touchdown with T.J. Ward all over him.

Chargers 7, Broncos 3.

Siemian, on the Broncos next possession, attempted another rollout and the pass was nearly intercepted twice as it was tipped up into the air. Devontae Booker, out of the game with a shoulder injury, was missed on second down as Kapri Bibbs fumbled the pitch from Siemian for a one yard loss.

On third and long, Siemian throws a short pass over the middle well short of the sticks. Broncos would have to punt with the momentum heavily in the Chargers favor.

The Chargers started their next drive with a short run from Gordon and a short pass to Dontrelle Inman. On third and four, Rivers had his pass broken up by Bradyley Roby.

A block in the back penalty on the Broncos pinned the offense near their own five yard line.

Booker came back into the game at this point, which is a good sign for Denver. It wouldn’t matter for the Broncos next drive as they would shoot themselves in the foot several times en route to a three and out. On third down, Siemian nearly threw another interception with a throw behind the receiver.

On the Chargers next drive, they were setup at midfield by a short Riley Dixon punt. Rivers would have a ball tipped to Hunter Henry who broke free wide open with Corey Nelson trailing badly in coverage. Von Miller exploded off the edge to push Rivers up in the pocket and he would overthrow his receiver. On third and 15, Rivers would be sacked by Ward who came around the outside to end the drive.

Siemian would overthrow Emmanuel Sanders badly on first down. On second down, Siemian would overthrow Bennie Fowler. On third down, a false start pushed the Broncos back. A short screen pass netted a yard to end the drive.

After starting 5/6 for 65 yards, Siemian ended the quarter 38 for 11 yards and three consecutive three and outs.