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Final Score: Broncos win 23-20 in wild fashion

The Denver Broncos scored early, but then went into hibernation for much of the game as they let the Los Angeles Chargers back into the game late.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos pounced on the Los Angeles Chargers early in this game jumping out to 14-0 lead, but then things just went south on them for two quarters of play. Early in the fourth quarter, the Chargers tied things up 20 to set the stage for an exciting finish.

Ultimately the drama would play out with a long defensive pass interference call on the Chargers with three seconds to go. Brandon McManus would nail the game-winner for the Broncos 23-20 win over the Chargers.

First Quarter

Things couldn’t have started out better for the Drew Lock and the Broncos in this game. After a three and out, things took off for the Denver offense. On their second possession, Lock methodically led the offense down the field converting three third downs with the last one being a deep pass down the field to Courtland Sutton who made one of those eye-popping one-handed catches that will make all of the highlight reels to put Denver up 7-0 early.

Then on the ensuing Chargers possession, Philip Rivers threw a poor screen pass that rookie Dre’Mont Jones intercepted inside the 20. Lock would find Sutton again on that drive for another touchdown to Sutton to put Denver up big to end the quarter.

Full first quarter recap.

Second Quarter

After such a dominant first quarter, the Broncos predictably went into hibernation with conservative play-calling. This allowed the Los Angeles Chargers to come back in the game late with a quick touchdown drive to close the gap to 17-10 at halftime.

They would steal all momentum in the game away from Denver with that drive and the ensuing game mismanagement from Vic Fangio over not allowing Brandon McManus to attempt a 64-yard field goal at the buzzer.

Full second quarter recap.

Third Quarter

Neither team could get anything significant going in the third quarter. The Chargers couldn’t get out of their own way, while the Broncos coaching staff seems intent on limiting any chance for additional offensive scoring in the game.

Though the quarter ended as it began with a 17-10 Broncos lead, you couldn’t help but feel that the Chargers were close to running away with it.

Full third quarter recap.

Fourth Quarter

Early on in the final quarter, the Chargers final did get out of their own way as Keenan Allen broke loose down field for a wide-open 36-yard touchdown pass to tie the game up at 17 with over 12 minutes remaining in the game.

The Broncos opened things back up on the next drive and Drew Lock made a terribly bad and underthrown throw to Tim Patrick that was intercepted to set the Chargers up in scoring position. Derek Wolfe nabbed his second sack of the game and the Chargers doinked the field goal attempt to avoid losing the lead.

With another chance, the Broncos offense got going with Phillip Lindsay getting some good runs in for a first down. After a good pass from Lock to Royce Freeman setup a third and one, Lock found Jeff Heuerman for the first down with six minutes to go in the game.

The drive would stall with a drop from DaeSean Hamilton who was wide open over the middle for what could have been a huge gain. Brandon McManus booted a 52-yard field goal to put Denver back up 20-17.

On the Chargers next drive, they were faced with a fourth and one yet Dan Feeney had a false start to push them back five yards. Another penalty set up a 4th and 11 throw to Mike Williams who made an incredible one-handed left hand catch over Isaac Yiadom into field goal range.

Two plays later, Rivers and the Chargers were faced with a third and one. They would throw a quick out to Allen for a short gain. On fourth and inches, the Chargers went for the game-tying 46-yard field goal attempt to send the game to overtime.

Instead, the Chargers committed defensive pass interference to give the Broncos a chance at a long game-winning field goal attempt that Brandon McManus nailed for the 23-20 win!