Chargers try to stumble, hold on for 21-13 victory over Broncos


It wasn’t pretty but the San Diego Chargers finally managed to close out a game in the fourth quarter.

Chargers linebacker Jatavis Brown forced and recovered a fumble by Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas and a Hail Mary attempt fell incomplete as San Diego grabbed a 21-13 win over Denver on Thursday night. The victory snapped a 10-game losing streak against AFC West opponents for the Chargers.

After the Broncos scored their first touchdown of the night to close the gap to 21-10, the Chargers promptly went three-and-out to give Denver a chance to further cut into their advantage. C.J. Anderson found the end zone on a fantastic 20-yard catch and run only to have the touchdown called back due to a holding penalty on Russell Okung.

Trevor Siemian was then sacked on the next play and Thomas fumbled on the play after that to significantly hinder Denver’s comeback attempt. The Broncos got a 46-yard field goal from Brandon McManus to trim the lead to eight, 21-13. Jordan Taylor then recovered the onside kick for Denver to keep their hopes alive.

However, Siemian’s desperation heave didn’t reach the end zone and was easily swatted down to give the Chargers the win.

It was a game San Diego had controlled for most the night. The Chargers had the ball for 20:27 in the first half and the Broncos managed just two first downs as the Chargers built a 10-3 lead.

The Chargers were the beneficiaries of great field position throughout the third quarter as Josh Lambo added field goals of 21, 31 and 32 yards to give San Diego a 19-3 advantage. However, it was three straight drives into the Broncos’ red zone that failed to result in touchdowns that would have blown the game wide open.

A holding penalty by Denver in the end zone (called against Max Garcia but really on Okung) made it a 21-3 lead over the Chargers. But given that it was the fourth quarter, that’s when things started to unravel for San Diego.

The ensuing free kick by Denver was punted very short and mishandled by lineman Kenny Wiggins. Shiloh Keo jumped on the ball to give Denver possession near midfield. The Broncos finally were able to march on an 11-play, 66-yard scoring drive that culminated in a 5-yard touchdown pass from Siemian to Bennie Fowler to close the deficit to 21-10.

After a three-and-out, the Broncos were on the move again before Thomas’ fumble.

41 responses to “Chargers try to stumble, hold on for 21-13 victory over Broncos

  1. Impressive win for the Bolts. Close losses for them this season, seems like they’re just on the cusp of being a good team. Maybe this will get them over the hump.

  2. Thankfully I was proven wrong tonight. The Chargers beat the Broncos and didn’t blow a lead or fall apart against the Denver Broncos defense like I thought they would. Thanks Chargers.

  3. Wow that was awful special teams by the Chargers. If not for them the Chargers win in a blowout. Gase could not have been more conservative in the second half, especially in the fourth quarter.

  4. The game wasnt as close as the score indicated for the second week in a row for the Broncos. They were outplayed last week by Atlanta and this week by San Diego. Their defense is still good but I’d say Minnesota is top in the league now. Denver’s offense is terrible though. Philip Rivers will likely be one of the best QBs to never win a Superbowl. His 2 years to win it was in 06 and 07 (losses to NE both years). In 06 Troy Brown stripped McCree after a pick which would have sealed it and in 07 he was playing an undefeated team with a torn ACL. Since then he has been stuck in mediocrity with his SD teams. Excluding the random 13-3 they put up in in 09 his teams are 59-62. How different would we look at Rivers if Eli didnt force his way out of SD? He would be in PIT or NY. His numbers are better than Ben and Eli but they are the ones with 2 rings that more people will remember while Rivers got stuck in Cali.

  5. 1st Place Raiduhhhhsssss!!!!
    Sunday’s game with the Chiefs just got even bigger.
    Win it and they’ll have sole possession of 1st place.
    By the way, some of the Butt Ugliest Uniforms I’ve ever seen.
    Great to be a R8er fan with that Classic Silver and Black gear, Stands the Test of Time.

  6. People thought I was crazy for picking the Chargers to win this one.

    They failed to realize that when I’m drunk by 12pm, I’m pretty much Nostradamus.

  7. Chargers fan here.
    Mike McCoy, John Pagano, and Tom Telesco all need to be fired. The Spanos family should also sell the team to somebody who actually cares about winning and fielding a quality team. This Chargers team just makes so many boneheaded moves. A couple years ago Mike McCoy left King Dunlap in the game during a 2 minute drill when he couldn’t move at all. The next play Philip Rivers got sacked and the Chargers lost. Now maybe the 2 minute drill would have been unsuccessful anyway, but leaving an immobile lineman who is clearly injured in the game is inexcusable. The Chargers offensive line is trash even when its healthy. They have no running game, yet insist on drafting Melvin Gordon. Having a flashy running back means nothing if your oline can’t block. The Chargers also lack a fullback and constantly run useless draw plays and singleback runs right up the middle. The Chargers run game has been non existent since they screwed over LaDainian Tomlinson (the GOAT in franchise history). The Chargers defense is awful as well. They constantly overpay for washed up free agents like Jarret Johnson or Travis Benjamin but then let talent like Vincent Jackson, Louis Vasquez, Darren Sproles, etc. walk out the door. I am extremely fed up with this Chargers franchise and the way it has been run. Marty Schottenheimer was the best thing that ever happened to us and we have been cursed since the freaking Spanos’ family decided to fire him.

  8. Broncos fans ALL OFFSEASON

    “It doesn’t matter who plays QB”

    Like I said

    “You can’t expect the D to play the exact same way and get all the bounces you got last year”

    Hope you enjoyed that SB. You be seeing another one for a long time.

  9. Didn’ watch the game but from what I have read EVERBODY says that Boss looked strong all night long. I was the first to say that he was going to be a monumental bust and I am hoping this guy proves me wrong. It’s only 1 game but he should only improve from here n out. Way to shut us up with your game on the field Bosa.

  10. Broncos D isn’t who they thought they were. The Chargers should have blown them out.

    Can’t wait to hear the excuses on Denver’s sports radio. Especially from Brandon Stokley, who has said Denver has the best defense in the NFL. He doesn’t care what the stats say.

    The Chargers, if they didn’t have all those mistakes at the end of games, could be undefeated right now….however, your record is your record.

  11. The Chargers tried to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but were unsuccessful this time. Oh well, there’s always next week. They’ll be back.

  12. The playcalling for the Broncos was very conservative and sad. Does losing Kubiak mean so much to the Broncos?

  13. Haven’t seen a lot of the Chargers this year, but now I understand why they lose so many games in the second half. The effort by SD’s coaching staff after the break was pitiful, maybe those calling for a change are on to something.

  14. That was very Browns of you San Diego for trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Touche….

  15. Really thought the offense would be humming by now. O-line play is bad. Hopefully getting everyone back to 100% will help up front. Bronco country is a little concerned right now. Still time to turn it around. Go Broncos!

  16. Now we know what happens when an irresistible collapsing force meets an immovable offense!

    The shot of McCoy with his head buried in his hands at the 2nd botched onsides kick in a row was one of those iconic football moments which could last forever if he doesn’t fall quickly into obscurity.

  17. The Broncos last night reminded me of the Elway years. Suck for 3 quarters then start throwing the ball around and hoping for DPI calls. That’s how you get the nickname Comeback King, by sucking for most of the game and pulling out a referee assisted win.

    Reminds me of most of Flacco’s career. At least Elway could run a bit. Trevor never got started. SD using a prevent D, and a really bad effort of special teams (except the FG kicker) was what kept Denver close.

  18. The game was painful to watch. Give SD credit they took it to Denver. Just how many times didnt denver get they were throwing quick to the tight ends, three of them to delay the pass rush?????
    How many times did denver have a big play called back for holding. More than I care to remember.
    I still say Denver is the dirtiest team in football followed by the Rams. They practice holding.

  19. 4th quarter Chargers playing safe run run run punt WHAT GOOD DID THAT DO??? Gave the Broncos 3 chances to beat you in the 4th & fortunately they didn’t capitalize on it!!!

  20. Donald Stephenson is sure making a name in Denver…for holding.
    Without a couple of Charger miscue’s the Broncos get shutout.

  21. I’m glad Chargers fans are beyond excited that they beat a team without its head coach… enjoy it bolts.. In two weeks, you will get blown out.

  22. This Raiders fan sends some gratitude to SD for the win! I”m happy to say that I picked them in my pool, as well.

    I don’t care who they lose – Phyllis has NO ISSUE flinging the rock around on anyone and that alone makes them a dangerous team.

    Sloppy play by both last night – SD needs to finish off drives and Denver’s offense was offensive. Siemian is NOT the answer and that D isn’t going to get the same breaks as last year to keep them at the top of the pecking order.

    After watching his first two games, I have no problem admitting I have been wrong on Bosa. This kid looks like the real deal. Two games isn’t nearly enough time to evaluate, but he looks like he’ll be a tough match-up in the AFC West for years to come – a rock solid pick in this years draft.

    Now it’s time for the Silver & Black to take down the check-down king and bring their foot down on the collective throats of the West. There’s NO reason we shouldn’t take the division this year…and then raise some hell in the playoffs.


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