Desperate to get things going, the Los Angeles Chargers opening second quarter drive was aided by a roughing the punter penalty on Devontae Booker. Alexander Johnson got himself a tackle for a loss on Melvin Gordon right after, then Chris Harris Jr. got a big hit on Keenan Allen for a short gain.
On third and seven, Todd Davis got stuck out in space against Austin Ekler. That didn’t end well as the Chargers converted the first down. Allen beat Justin Simmons over the middle down to the Denver Broncos 17 yard line to get well into scoring position.
Philip Rivers did Philip Rivers things in the red zone and the Chargers ultimately had to settle for a field goal. With nine and a half minutes to go in the half, the Broncos were up 14-3.
The Broncos offense went back into hibernation after an illegal formation penalty, which brought Colby Wadman out for the punt.
On third down the #Broncos run a concept they dialed up for Lock in the Seahawks preseason game. Instead of looking to the trips side, he finds Sutton on the solo comeback to the left. Nice play. pic.twitter.com/wI3kDiHGBx— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) December 1, 2019
A muff by Troymaine Pope resulted in the Broncos scrambling for the ball. Josey Jewell came out with the ball to set the Broncos up inside the Chargers red zone.
The ground game got things going from there with three straight runs on offense, but the Chargers defense stuffed the third run on third down for no gain to bring out the field goal unit. Brandon McManus would put Denver up 17-3 midway through the second quarter.
The Broncos defense reared its ugly head on a third and inches near midfield with just over three minutes to go in the half with a huge three yard tackle of a loss on Austin Ekler to give Denver one more possession before halftime.
A number of #Broncos defenders impressed me on the Chargers series. Isaac Yiadom and Justin Hollins on the first two downs both showed the aggressiveness Fangio wants against the run.— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) December 1, 2019
This play speaks for itself. The D holds on 3rd and inches. pic.twitter.com/k5SqwFYUg8
Conservative would be the word for play-calling since the Broncos last touchdown drive with five straight runs up until a third down with less than two minutes to go in the half. On third and 5, Drew Lock threw it away to bring out the punting unit with a minute to go in the half.
Isaac Yiadom collided with Justin Simmons on the first play that left Mike Williams wide open for a 52-yard gain setting the Chargers up in scoring position with half a minute left in the second quarter. From the Broncos 30 yard line, Rivers found Elker who was open after beating Todd Davis badly on the play for the touchdown to cut the Broncos lead to 17-10 just before halftime.
All momentum in the game went the other way before halftime.