The Denver Broncos were desperate for a win sitting at 0-4 to start the season and they played like it in the first half building up a 17-0 lead, but the tide turned in the second half as the Los Angeles Chargers chipped away at the lead.
Up 17-10 late in the fourth quarter, the Broncos offense had a chance to put the game away and went three and out instead. The pressure was put on the defense and they actually stepped up to the challenge to force a punt with three minutes to go.
From there the Broncos offense finally woke up with Phillip Lindsay breaking loose for a 32-yard gain and even a holding penalty couldn’t stop them from there as Lindsay put the Broncos back into field goal range to setup the game sealing field goal from Brandon McManus to put them up 20-10 over the Chargers.
The Chargers would add a field goal late, but it was too late as the Broncos secured their first win of the season in a 20-13 road win over Los Angeles.
The Broncos dominated the first quarter of this game putting up over 180 total yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Chargers struggled to get their drives going early and ended up in a deep hole early in this game.
On offense, Joe Flacco and Courtland Sutton hooked up for the biggest play of the quarter on this 70-yard touchdown reception. Overall, it was the best possible start to the game for the Broncos and they even got their first defensive turnover of the season.
Courtland Sutton TOUCHDOWN! #Broncos 14- #Chargers 0 #DENvsLAC pic.twitter.com/votoQ7tbyP— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 6, 2019
In the second quarter, things kind of evened out between the two teams. The Chargers missed a field goal and the Broncos made theirs to extend their lead to 17-0. However, after Flacco was stripped and Isaac Yiadom subsequently extended the Chargers drive twice with dumb holding penalties in coverage, the Broncos defense finally made a play they haven’t made all year long.
On fourth and goal with seven seconds left in the first half, Austin Ekeler looked like he had the angle for the touchdown when Kareem Jackson came flying in to pop the ball loose just a half yard from the goal line to keep the Chargers scoreless in the first half.
I love you Kareem Jackson. Hell of a play saves the #Broncos from points. pic.twitter.com/ftavCq6Sjp— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 6, 2019
The third quarter didn’t go the Broncos way offensively as they were held without a first down the entire quarter and had an interception inside their own ten yard line. Fortunately, the Broncos defense continued to play hard with Alexander Johnson intercepting Philip Rivers in the end zone.
Unfortunately, the Chargers got themselves a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown on the very next series to keep the game in doubt at 17-7 heading into the fourth quarter.
DESMOND KING WITH THE 68 YARD PUNT RETURN— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) October 6, 2019
To start the fourth quarter, the Broncos offense finally woke from their second half slumber after a long 17-yard run by Royce Freeman to put Denver into field goal range. That drive would stall with a Joey Bosa sack on Flacco that pushed the field goal attempt back to 54-yards where Brandon McManus would hook it wide.
The Chargers would flip the field and get into field goal range to cut the Broncos lead down to 17-10 with about six minutes left in the game.
The offense needs to put this game away now, please. PLEASE.— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) October 6, 2019
With six and a half minutes left in the game, the Broncos offense came out with a sputter with a quick three and out to get the ball back to the Chargers in a one-score game. The defense stood tall and force the Chargers to punt anyway.
Phillip Lindsay on his next carry burst through the line for a 32-yard gain to put him over 100 yards on the ground for the day. From the Chargers 37-yard line, the Broncos went heavy set to pound the ball forward from there. Another ticky tack holding call push the Broncos out of field goal range, but Lindsay wanted none of that nonsense with this run to get Brandon McManus a chance to put the Broncos up by 10 with less than two minutes to go.
I love @I_CU_boy. pic.twitter.com/PyJpZscWIv— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 6, 2019
The Chargers would add a meaningless field goal with 10 seconds remaining to make it a one-score game.
Broncos 20, Chargers 13.