The Denver Broncos have bounced back from their two game skid. First they beat up on Brock Osweiler and the Texans. Now they have taken their revenge, defeating the San Diego Chargers 27-19. While it felt at times like the Broncos were doing everything they could to lose, they were able to hold off a late Charger surge.
Things were so ugly that Wade Phillips even felt the pain, getting run over on the sidelines. Of course, the good news was that he was released from the hospital, and looks to be okay. The rest of the game continued with that same ugly streak.
The #Broncos don't win pretty. They win ugly. But they win. That's all that matters— Adam Malnati (@AdamMalnati16) October 30, 2016
There were a total of 6 turnovers between both teams. The Broncos defense was able to intercept Phillip Rivers three times. Bradley Roby’s pick-6 in the second quarter added to Denver’s score, and put the Broncos up by 3. This was after what felt like an exorbitant amount of punts following scoring drive by both teams early in the first quarter.
It was just ugly. In the punt dominated first half, Denver struggled to get anything going on offense, but the defense was able to hold the Chargers in check.
The game turned during the first possession of the second half. The Broncos lead would grow after Darian Stewart intercepted Rivers, and gave the Broncos a short field to work with. The offense capitalized. Devontae Booker ran one in from three yards out. These beautiful moments were like small breaks from the overall ugliness that was the Broncos offense.
Just moments later, the Broncos turned over the Chargers again on a TJ Ward interception of Rivers. Again the short field looked like a chance for the game to get blow wide open. Instead, the offense didn’t just fail to convert this turnover into points, but the Chargers would take advantage of a turnover. 98 yards later, the Chargers capitalized. What was about to be a two score lead turned into a one score nail biter. From that point on, there was never a moment that the game did not feel uncertain.
The Booker fumble has turned this game from a rout to a problem. . . it was about to be a laugher. . . 98 yard drive. . .— Gil Whiteley (@Gilfest) October 30, 2016
While the defense was standing on their head to keep San Diego out of the game, the offense looked like they were doing everything they could to keep the game close. Trevor Siemian was intercepted on a tipped ball that was poorly thrown, and should have been caught by Jordan Norwood. Casey Hayward’s pick-6 brought the Chargers back to life.
By the end of the game, the defense was gassed. Melvin Gordon was gashing the defense for big yards on the Chargers last drive. Perhaps the only thing that saved the Broncos was the horrible play calling by Mike McCoy.
Did this game raise confidence in the Broncos? The AFC West is the toughest division in all of football. The Raiders sit atop the division right now. How fitting is it that this will be Raiders week?
The Broncos won a must win game, and will play a must win game against the Raiders next Sunday night. If it means winning, let the ugliness continue. However, a game like the one played today won’t get it done against Oakland.