The weather for this game was a complete inverse from last week. Gone was the below freezing temperatures and snow and out was the sun and a mid-60s type day. The Los Angeles Chargers won the opening coin toss and elected to defer to bring Drew Lock and the Denver Broncos out to start the game.
Facing his former team, Melvin Gordon was on the field for the Broncos first offensive play. It didn’t quite start off the way he would want as he started the game with back-to-back carried for just one yard. On third and 9, Lock found Jerry Jeudy for a short gain to bring out the punt unit.
Going 3 and out is one of the favorite things Denver has done for the last five season.
Justin Herbert took a sack on his first offensive play with DeShawn Williams breathing down his neck. After a short run, Herbert went beyond the sticks to try and convert the third and 13, but Justin Simmons was there for the interception to put Denver in excellent position to score early.
Justin Simmons picks off Justin Herbert! pic.twitter.com/DD2uFDSOuW— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) November 1, 2020
Simmons returned the pick all the way to the Chargers 16-yard line. After an illegal formation penalty on Jeudy, Drew Lock tried to roll out and was forced out for no gain. Jeudy was wide open in the end zone, but Lock didn’t have the arm strength to get the ball there as he was falling away from Joey Bosa.
The drive went no where at all as Lock continued to immediately roll out of the pocket on nearly every pass play. Brandon McManus was there to put Denver up early 3-0 after the offense went three and out again.
Herbert was able to convert on third and five to begin the Chargers next drive. A.J. Bouye had great coverage on Keenan Allen, but Allen was able to make a finger tip catch and fighting through Bouye’s tackle to get the first down.
On their next series, the Chargers were faced with a second and 16 after an offensive holding call by Sam Tevi who hooked Shelby Harris on the play. After an incomplete pass, Herbert whiffed on a third down screen that wasn’t going anywhere anyway. The Chargers were forced to punt.
Remember when Drew Lock to Noah Fant was a thing? Maybe again soon...— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) November 1, 2020
On the Broncos first play, Lock predictably rolled out of the pocket unnecessarily but the play wouldn’t matter anyway as Garett Bolles would then shove Joey Bosa in the back unnecessarily for an illegal block in the back. That would lead to more dismal offensive play calls and poor decisions from Lock to bring up a third straight three and out to start the game for Denver.
I feel like we should create a drinking game for the #Broncos offense.— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) November 1, 2020
From their own eight yard line, the Chargers were able to get a first down in the first quarter on a completion to Hunter Henry out to the 19 yard line.
Josey Jewell took him out of position a few plays later to open a huge hole for Joshua Kelly out to the 47-yard line. Three plays later on third and 10, Herbert hit Mike Williams for 19 yards and a first down into Broncos territory at the 35.
The Broncos defense stiffened from there and Josey Jewell redeemed himself with a big hit on Herbert just short of the sticks to bring up fourth down and the end of the first quarter.