When Broncos running back C.J. Anderson scampered into the end zone with just over four minutes left in Thursday night’s game, there were surely some in San Diego who got a familiar feeling of dread.
The Chargers had no success late in games during the first five weeks of the season and Anderson’s score would put the Broncos in striking distance with time to extend that streak of misery. A holding call took the score off the board, though, and linebacker Jatavis had a sack and forced fumble on the next two plays to keep the score unchanged.
There would be a little more sweating thanks to the Broncos recovering an onside kick, but the Chargers held on for a 21-13 victory. After a strong start by the offense in the first quarter, it was the Chargers defense that went to work and kept the Broncos from being in a good position as the clock wound down. Linebacker Melvin Ingram said it was the kind of effort the team said they needed.
“We said that for the rest of the season, it’s not going to be like that anymore,” Ingram said, via the team’s website. “We are going to go out and play for 60 minutes. That is what it’s all about; as long as we go out and play for 60 minutes, we’ll be alright.”
You can’t go back in time and replay those nightmarish fourth quarters of previous weeks, but those results showed a Chargers team capable of doing good things if they can stay out of their own way. They did that on Thursday and will have to do more of the same on the road in Atlanta and Denver the next two weeks to fully turn their season around.