The Denver Broncos were on the upswing in week 12 against the Los Angeles Chargers. As Ian St. Clair and I discussed on the MHR Radio Podcast, the proverbial rollercoaster ride in Broncos Country saw Denver beat the Chargers 28-13 to move to 6-5.
Teddy Bridgewater scored the Broncos first TD on an 11-yard scramble. The Broncos second TD came with Drew Lock under center. Bridgewater suffered a leg injury on a play that was initially called a fumble, but was overturned. Javonte Williams capped the drive with a 9-yard score of his own.
Lock finished out the half at QB. He threw an interception with 1:16 left before the intermission. The Chargers turned that into their only points of the first half. Austin Ekeler finished the drive with a TD catch from Justin Herbert.
Coming out of the break, Bridgewater was back in the game. After the Chargers drive stalled, Dustin Hopkins missed a 52-yard field goal. Denver couldn’t capitalize, and three plays later they were forced to punt.
The Chargers went on the march. They held the ball until the 4th quarter, and that’s when Patrick Surtain II made his first big play of the game. On a deep pass to the end zone, Surtain undercut the route, and intercepted Herbert.
On the ensuing drive, Broncos Country witnessed one of the best drives of the season. 80 yards in 10 plays, and it was the Javonte Williams show almost all the way. Williams touched the ball five times. The biggest play came on a short pass that he turned into a 42 yard gain. The drive ended with Bridgewater stiff-arming Joey Bosa and then throwing a strike to Eric Saubert for the score.
At 21-7, the game was still within reach. That is, until PS2 showed up with his second big play of the game. Herbert threw a pass behind Ekler that deflected into Surtain’s hands. He returned it 70 yards for the Broncos final score of the game. At 28-7, the was essentially out of reach.
The Chargers added a touchdown on a circus catch in the back of the end zone by Jared Cook. The game was out of reach at that point. It was a complete game by the Broncos, and one that gave Broncos Country a look at what this team is capable of, even if it is just every other game.
The takeaway for me has to be Javonte Williams. He was the Broncos best offensive weapon. As a running back, we have seen him break tackles and carry opponents all over the field. Against the Chargers, he was just as important in the passing attack. He is proving to be a weapon everywhere. He will be an integral piece of the offensive puzzle every week. Utilizing him on passing downs should prove to make him that much more valuable moving forward.
It was a gritty performance, and a win against a team most people see as a true playoff contender. The Broncos may not be consistent, but they are capable. It should make for an interesting stretch run.