Here’s the recap.
The Broncos came out throwing with Trevor Siemian hitting Demaryius Thomas several times to get down the field, but the biggest gain came from Jordan Taylor who took a short pass over the middle 35 yards down the field. The drive stalled in the red zone, but the Broncos got on the board first with a Brandon McManus field goal.
Broncos 3, Chargers 0.
A major breakdown in coverage on the Broncos defense, let loose a 53-yard gain from the fullback to set San Diego up inside the 10 yard line. Three plays later, Phillips Rivers would hit Antonio Gates over the middle for a touchdown.
Chargers 7, Broncos 3.
Siemian and the Broncos would lead themselves to three consecutive three and outs to close out the first quarter, with San Diego in firm control of field possession to start the second quarter.
After starting 5/6 for 65 yards, Siemian ended the quarter 38 for 11 yards and three consecutive three and outs.
The Broncos defense kept the pressure up, hoping to give the offense a chance to break free of its first quarter slump. However, after the offenses fourth straight three and out the defense took things into their own hands.
DeMarcus Ware, fresh off a six week injury, forced a strip sack on Rivers that was picked up by Corey Nelson and returned for a touchdown.
The call looked like the correct one, but after review, it was called an incomplete pass. The call was followed by a roughing the punter call on Justin Simmons that appeared to ruin any hope fans had for the Broncos to right the ship.
Then it happened.
Rivers pass was tipped up by his wide receiver and intercepted by Bradley Roby who would return it all the way 52 yard for a touchdown.
Broncos 10, Chargers 7.
Wade Phillips was hit hard by a Chargers defender on that play and appeared to be knocked out when his head hit the ground. He would be carted off the field strapped to a stretcher. Broncos report he will be released from the hospital soon (no broken leg as earlier reported).
The Chargers would need to punt on their next drive, to setup the Broncos with good field position. Siemian would hit Emmanuel Sanders deep down the field to setup a red zone opportunity.
Unfortunately, Siemian would be sacked and fumbled the ball away. That momentum shift would carry the Chargers all the way down the field with time running out in the first half.
The Broncos defense stood them up and Josh Lambo would hook the field goal to preserve the lead for Denver to end the half.
1H STATS— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) October 30, 2016
1st downs: DEN 6, SD 9
Yards: DEN 155, SD 153
Yards/play: DEN 4.8, SD 4.1
Rush Yds: DEN 19, SD 35
Rush YPC: DEN 2.7, SD 3.5
The Broncos defense continued to set the tone in the second half, picking off Rivers on a third down throw. Darian Stewart returned the interception down to the Chargers 8 yard line. Two plays later, Devontae Booker would run it in for the touchdown to give the Broncos a two score lead.
Broncos 17, Chargers 7.
After another Broncos interception on the very next drive, the offense had a chance to go up three scores, but Booker would fumble at the two yard line.
Rivers and the Chargers would march 98-yards to cap the drive with a touchdown. A blocked extra point would keep the score larger than a field goal, however.
Broncos 17, Chargers 13.
The Broncos offense got it going late in the third quarter, driving all the way down to the 30-yard line of the Chargers before the end of the quarter.
Booker ripped off his longest run of the year, with an 18-yard gain down to the 8 yard line. A quick slant to Sanders got the Broncos down to the one yard line two plays later. On third and goal, Siemian would handoff to Juwan Thompson who would rush it in for the touchdown.
That was the answer the Broncos needed from their offense after such a long, draining drive from the Chargers.
Broncos 24, Chargers 13.
The Chargers next possession started out nicely with a 20-yard run from Melvin Gordon, but on third down Rivers would be sacked by Justin Simmons and the Chargers would have to punt.
From their own one-yard line, Demaryius Thomas had himself a very nice catch to get the Broncos out of their own end zone. Siemian would then make a very poor throw to Sanders on second down and then intercepted on third down. It would be returned for a touchdown.
Jordan Norwood made a very poor attempt of a catch and the tipped pass taken to the house. The Chargers would be unable to convert the two-point conversion.
Broncos 24, Chargers 19.
On their very next possession, Siemian threw the ball down the seam on first down to Virgil Green for a 31 yard gain. Siemian then threw deep down the field to Thomas for a 40 yard completion and just like that the Broncos offense got things back on track inside the five yard line.
After two short runs from Booker, the Broncos had a third and goal to deal with. Siemian would make a terrible throw to Sanders in the end zone to end the drive. McManus would kick the field goal to extend the Broncos lead to eight.
Broncos 27, Chargers 19.
The Broncos defense unleashed itself on the next Chargers possession, with Miller near Rivers on every play. However, Rivers was getting the ball off just in time. After a 15 yard pass, he would hit Gordon in the flat for a 30 yard gain down to the Broncos 34 yard line.
Gordon would take the next handoff down to the Broncos 17 yard line. A few plays later on third and two from the Broncos 9 yard line, Rivers hit Hunter Henry down to the 2 yard line for the first and goal.
After two incompletions, Rivers on third and goal would just miss Gates in the corner of the end zone who was covered well by Will Parks. On fourth down, Rivers would have his pass batted down by Lorenzo Doss.
What a goal line stand by the Broncos defense there.
IN-COM-PLETE!!! Courtesy of @Lorenzo_Doss. This defense is just amazing.— L.Lattimore-Volkmann (@docllv) October 30, 2016
Booker on first down lost a yard, setting the Broncos back on their own goal line. On second down, Russell Okung nearly commits a holding penalty in the end zone. The penalty was declined as Booker didn’t gain much on the play. Siemian would overthrow Thomas on third down and the Broncos would punt.
Riley Dixon would find a way to kick the best ball of his life with a booming 68-yard punt that was not returnable.
After the two-minute warning, Rivers would hit Gordon out to their own 45-yard line. Rivers would throw an incompletion on the next first down, then Jared Crick would bat the second down pass down.
On third down, Rivers was nearly sacked by Miller and somehow got the ball off to Gordon for no gain. From fourth down and 9, Rivers missed Gordon after being pressured by Crick up the middle.