The smart move for Rich Scangarello is to give the Chargers defense a heavy dose of the rushing attack and that is exactly what he did on the first down with Phillip Lindsay gaining four yards. On second down, Lock was put into an empty set and threw a very poor throw to Courtland Sutton that fell incomplete with no one having a chance to make the catch.
On third and six, Lock was again from the empty set. Under duress, Lock found Noah Fant just short of the sticks for the first three and out of Drew Lock’s career. Colby Wadman came out and booted a poor 38-yard punt that was fortunately not returned.
The Chargers came out with two consecutive runs as they tested whether or not Von Miller’s absence would open things up. On third and three, Philip Rivers found Mike Williams outside for the first down.
Austin Ekler found an inside running lane for eight yards on first down. Los Angeles went to the no huddle, which has caused Denver’s defense issues all year, but after an incompletion the Chargers were faced with a third and two. Will Parks exploded off the edge on a safety blitz for Denver’s first sack on Rivers in the game.
Two straight runs by Lindsay brought up a third and four for Lock and the Broncos on their next series. Lock fired in a bullet to DaeSean Hamilton just beyond the sticks for Denver’s first first down of the game.
On first down, Lock rolled out on a naked bootleg and badly overthrew Jeff Heuerman who was open. A well-designed play action screen to Andrew Beck got another first down. Lindsay broke through outside for a 14 yard gain on the next play to get Denver across midfield.
Lindsay followed up with an eight yard gain on the next play down to the Chargers 35-yard line to get Denver close to field goal range. The next play was blown up by Melvin Ingram, so on third down and two Lock brought himself some time and found Heuerman for a first down. It was very nice to see some improvised play from a quarterback again in Denver.
Three plays later Courtland Sutton showed the world once again why he is beyond elite of the elite. With one hand being held, Sutton hauls in a one-handed grab to put the Broncos up 7-0 early.
Drew Lock’s first TD pass made extra special by Courtland Sutton. pic.twitter.com/nyYOXHyRyk— ThatsGoodSports (@BrandonPerna) December 1, 2019
On their next series, Rivers found Dre’Mont Jones on a screen pass. Jones plays the the Broncos, which means Denver got the ball inside the 20 yard line on their next series.
Dre'Mont Jones with the first interception of his career! pic.twitter.com/sQFq1Zft0f— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) December 1, 2019
Lock converted a third down outside to Heuerman to setup a first and goal opportunity. After an incompletion to Noah Fant in the end zone, Lock handed off to Lindsay for a one yard gain. On third and goal from the five, Lock fired a pass to Sutton for another touchdown and two-touchdown lead.
Broncos end the first quarter up 14-0 at home over the Chargers.