Icing the kicker worked for the Denver Broncos as they survived a furious rally from the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday night.
Shelby Harris blocked a game-tying 44-yard field goal attempt by rookie kicker Younghoe Koo as the Broncos escaped with a 24-21 victory. Koo had converted the 44-yard attempt the first time around only to have Broncos head coach Vance Joseph call timeout just prior to the snap.
A game that had been in Denver’s control for most of the contest suddenly needed the heroics of Harris to enable the Broncos to avoid a trip to overtime.
Broncos linebacker Todd Davis knifed into the backfield to blast Melvin Gordon for a 2-yard loss with 12 minutes remaining and the Chargers trailing 24-7 that seemed to slam the door shut on any thoughts of a rally.
But rally the Chargers did anyway.
After Rivers hit Allen for a 5-yard touchdown, linebacker Korey Toomer forced a fumble from Jamaal Charles to give the Chargers possession again. It took just one play for Rivers to hit Benjamin for a 38-yard touchdown to close the gap to just three points.
Rivers finished the game with 192 yards and three touchdowns with an interception. Siemian passed for 219 yards with two touchdowns, an interception and a rushing touchdown for Denver.
The Broncos quickly drove back into scoring range after Siemian connected with Virgil Green for 44 yards with a roughing the passer tacked on to the end of the play to move Denver to the Chargers’ 16-yard line. However, two sacks of Siemian forced Denver to try a field goal and Brandon McManus missed for 50 yards out to keep the deficit at just three points.
The Chargers managed to drive to the Denver 26 before Koo’s kick was deflected in the closing seconds allowing the Broncos to hold on.
Siemian scored on a 1-yard run in the first half and connected with Bennie Fowler for both of his touchdown passes in the game. C.J. Anderson rushed for 81 yards on 20 carries as well as the Broncos rushed for 140 yards in the game.
Melvin Gordon had success in the first half but became marginalized with the growing deficit after the break. He finished with 54 yards on 18 carries with five catches for 25 yards and a touchdown as well.