Herbert immediately went after rookie Damarri Mathis deep for a 30-yard pass interference call to give the Chargers the ball in Broncos’ territory. An eight yard run by Austin Ekeler got LA down to the Broncos’ 37-yard line. Denver pressured Hebert on second down and he was forced to throw it away.
After another incomplete pass, the Chargers were faced with a fourth down. On fourth and two, Herbert found his receiver on a short pass for four yards and a first down. The pass was tipped, but still caught.
Baron Browning showed his presence on the next play with a tackle for a loss on Ekeler. Jonathon Cooper got some pressure on second down to force an incomplete pass on second down. After a false start penalty, the Chargers failed to convert on a 3rd and 16 after Herbert went after Mathis again. They would be forced to punt from the Broncos’ 39-yard line.
Like every other week this season, the Broncos offense came out and produced a negative play on a drive. Lloyd Cushenberry was immediately called for holding on the first play of the game for the offense. Russell Wilson was able to get most of the yards back, but yet another penalty - this time on Cam Fleming - should have ensured a punt from deep in their own end zone.
However, on third and 14, Courtland Sutton drew a pass interference call on JC Jackson to give Denver a first down and out of that two-penalty hole they created to start their first drive.
A quick toss on Kendall Hinton on first down picked up eight yards, then a perfect throw to tight end Eric Tomlinson was hauled in for a toe-tap catch for 16 yards into Chargers territory.
The Broncos got into field goal range from there, but a third down sack by Khalil Mack who overpowered Calvin Anderson to end the drive. Brandon McManus would bang it through from 51-yards to give Denver an early lead.
Broncos 3, Chargers 0.
A bad holding penalty on first down set the Chargers in a 1st and 20. After a nine yard screen pass to Ekeler, Jonathon Cooper came around the edge and nearly forced a strip sack. He settled for the sack alone. On third and long, Browning saved the day catching Ekeler from behind to keep the Chargers from getting the first down.
Denver opened up their next drive with a rather questionable play call on a swing pass outside to Latavius Murray that lost two yards. He got those yards back on his first actual carry of the game though. He gained eight yards on second down to setup a third and four. Rookie tight end Greg Dulcich got his first reception of his career on third down. A no-call face mask marred the first down catch, but all of Broncos Country was glad to see him involved.
Another first down no gain quick pass outside and another quick toss outside went for negative yards. On third and log, Russell Wilson took over. He scrambled out of pressure and found Jerry Jeudy deep for a 37-yard gain.
Then on the next play, Greg Dulcich got his second reception and his first towndown for a 39-yards.
Broncos 10, Chargers 0.
Not a bad start for the Broncos in this game.