The Denver Broncos were an undisciplined mess all game on Monday Night Football against the Lost Angeles Chargers. They recorded 151 penalty yards on the night, the second-most in franchise history. The team was even mocked by Dan Orlovsky on Twitter over the inability to perform high school level stuff out there.
Despite all that, the Broncos’ defense kept coming up big in the red zone. With the game tied at 16, the Broncos appeared to be poised to get the ball back with four minutes to go in overtime. Instead, a muffed punt by Montrell Washington gave the Chargers the easy field goal and the 19-16 win. At 2-4, most of Broncos Country is now looking towards a post-Hackett world.
For the first time this season, the Denver Broncos offense showed up in the first quarter in big ways. The first drive ended in a field goal after overcoming two penalties by the offensive line. Their second drive was on the verge of ending after another back-to-back start with negative plays. However, on third down, Russell Wilson scrambled around and found Jerry Jeudy for a 37-yard gain.
Then on the very next play, Wilson found tight end Greg Dulcich wide open for a 39-yard touchdown and a two score lead.
Broncos 10, Chargers 0. Full first quarter recap.
The Chargers sort of dominated the second quarter and tied the game up with less than a minute left in the half, but Russell Wilson and KJ Hamler all but annihilated whatever momentum they would have felt heading into half time on a 47-yard bomb to set Denver up in field goal range.
It would have been a touchdown had Wilson been able to step into his throw, but the damage to Los Angeles was done on that play.
Broncos 13, Chargers 10. Full second quarter recap.
Denver’s third quarter woes continued through this game. They went three and out and ended up punting anyway after a third down sack on their second drive. Meanwhile, the Chargers put together two long drives in the third quarter. They were held to a field goal on their first drive and faced a fourth and one at the Broncos’ 29-yard line to start the fourth quarter.
Broncos 13, Chargers 13. Full third quarter recap.
Rookie cornerback Damarri Mathis had a rough game with three defensive pass interference calls against him. The first was legitimate, but the next two became increasingly suspect. However, he made a huge pass breakup on the first play of the fourth quarter to stop the Chargers on fourth down.
Nathaniel Hackett began to get Russell Wilson moving in more RPO on the next drive. He had back-to-back runs for 20 yards to get Denver into Chargers territory. Later in the drive, Wilson was hit in the head but the refs didn’t seem to want to see any egregious penalties called on the Chargers.
In the biggest play of the game, K’Wuan Williams tips a pass into Baron Browning’s hands where he intercepted the ball. He then fumbled, but was able to recover his own fumble.
The Denver offense went absolutely nowhere fast and quickly settled for a Brandon McManus 47-yard field goal.
Broncos 16, Chargers 13.
Penalties continued to plague the Broncos as they were unable to stop giving the Chargers free yards during the game. The Chargers next drive was littered with dumb penalties by players on the Broncos defense. The 151 yards of penalties were the second-most in the team’s 63-year history and rookie Damarri Mathis had 87 of those on four pass interference penalties.
The #Broncos 151 accepted penalty yards are their 2nd-most in a game all-time. The most they've had in a game is 160 against Tampa Bay in 1976.— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) October 18, 2022
All game long, the Broncos defense kept finding ways to stop the Chargers in the red zone. Dustin Hopkins came back out to tie things up yet again with 4 minutes to go in the game.
Broncos 16, Chargers 16.
Latavius Murray opened things up with a 14-yard run, but the drive began to stall soon after that. The Broncos called a time out with 2:39 left facing a third and six from their own 43-yard line. The Chargers sent an all out blitz and Wilson had no chance. Easy punt.
Denver would hold and the game would enter overtime.
The Broncos would get the ball to start the overtime period and led with back-to-back runs to Latavius Murray for nine total yards. On third and one, Wilson’s pass to KJ Hamler fell incomplete. Nathaniel Hackett would opt to punt the ball away instead of going for the win.
Fortunately, the Broncos defense forced a quick three and out and got the ball back for Denver where a field goal could win it. Instead, Hackett decided to run, run, pass and punt. Somehow, the defense continued to do its job and forced another three and out.
Montrell Washington has had muffs in back-to-back weeks, including earlier in this game. P.J. Locke engaged in a block and Washington was hit and fumbled to give the Chargers the ball in field goal range.
Chargers 19, Broncos 16.
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