clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Final Score: Broncos go HAM in final quarter to pull out 31-30 win over Chargers

The Denver Broncos were down 24-3 at one point in the third quarter. They would charge back to win 31-30 in dramatic fashion on the game’s final play.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

For three quarters, the Denver Broncos offense was one of the worst we had ever seen. The Los Angeles Chargers used that offensive ineptitude to build a 24-3 lead halfway through the third quarter. Then all of a sudden, the Broncos offense woke up.

They would score two touchdowns, one late in the third and the other early in the fourth to cut the lead down to 24-17. They would add another touchdown midway through the fourth, but the Chargers would extend their lead with two and a half minutes left in the game to go up 30-24.

Drew Lock and the Broncos offense would bury the first two and a half quarters of frustration to win on the game’s final play 31-30.

What. A. Game. Here is your recap!

First Quarter

The Broncos defense struck first in this game with this Justin Simmons interception on a deep pass from Justin Herbert. The turnover would lead to a Brandon McManus field goal and an early 3-0 lead.

Unfortunately, Drew Lock and the Broncos offense looked ugly in each of their three first quarter drives going three and every time. He seems to have developed a bad habit of immediately rolling out to his left or right if the first read isn’t open. That led to low percentage plays and those multiple three and outs.

Full first quarter recap.

Second Quarter

The second quarter was mostly a defensive battle until late. Both defenses frustrated the opposing offense, but the Chargers were better at it forcing mostly three and outs. That time of possession really became a factor late as the Broncos defense clearly began to look gassed.

The Chargers got things going and scored with less than two minutes to go in the half to put Los Angeles up 7-3. With that, the Broncos offense quickly went three and out again to give the Chargers another chance to put points on the board.

Justin Herbert and the Chargers would march down the field to cap a 75-yard drive with a touchdown with 15 seconds left and a 14-3 lead. They would also get the ball to start the second half.

Full second quarter recap.

Third Quarter

Things would get pretty bleak for Broncos fans as the Chargers marched right down the field for an easy touchdown to start the second half to put Los Angeles up 21-3. Drew Lock and the Broncos offense followed it up with a critical three and out.

The Chargers would tack on more points after that three and out to put themselves up 24-3.

With just 2 yards rushing going into their next drive, the Chargers defense had done a good job bottling up both Phillip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon in this game. That all came to a crashing end on one inside handoff to Lindsay midway through the third quarter.

The 55-yard rushing touchdown would cut the Chargers lead to 24-10. The teams would trade interceptions late, so the score wouldn’t change in the third quarter from there.

Full third quarter recap.

Fourth Quarter

Jerry Jeudy was a focal point early on and he was getting open a lot, but it wasn’t until the second play of the fourth quarter that it felt like this would become his breakout game. On third and 16, Jeudy came wide open on a deep crosser and took the catch 43-yards to the Chargers 30-yard line.

The drive would result in a Lock to Albert Okwuegbunam touchdown pass to make it a one score game with over 11 minutes to go in the game.

Los Angeles added a field goal on their next drive with eight minutes to go in the game to regain a two score lead over the Broncos in the fourth quarter, 27-17. However, the Broncos offense was just waking up.

After a long run by Phillip Lindsay with a 15-yard personal foul added on, Lock found DaeSean Hamilton over the middle who would turn it up field for a 40-yard touchdown to cut the Chargers lead to just 3 points at 27-24.

The Chargers offense began to grind up yards on the ground against an exhausted Broncos defense that had been on the field for over 35 minutes with 3 minutes still to go in the game, but they stiffened inside the 20 yard line after a Chargers penalty and a Bradley Chubb sack. They forced a field goal with 2:40 left in the game, Chargers 30, Broncos 24.

A pass to Melvin Gordon and a short run by him brought the game to the two minute warning with the Broncos facing a third and one. He would convert the first down too with an 11 yard run up the middle. Phillip Lindsay would come in on the next set of downs.

After a short run by Gordon, Drew Lock missed a wide open Noah Fant down the field. The Broncos would get a conversion by penalty on a pass interference call at midfield.

Two completions to DaeSean Hamilton got the Broncos down to the Chargers 34-yard line with 45 seconds left. Melvin Gordon made an incredible catch on a third and four to get the first down with 27 seconds left.

Instead of going to the end zone, Drew Lock threw it underneath for a short gain running a the clock down to 13 seconds. He is then almost picked on third down in the end zone. A pass interference is called on the final play to give Denver one more down at the one yard line.

Drew Lock would find KJ Hamler in the end zone for the decisive comeback win for Denver.

Broncos 31, Chargers 30.