Broncos get first takeaway of season, lead Chargers 17-0

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The Broncos defense did not force a turnover in the first four weeks of the regular season, but they finally came through in the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the Chargers.

Safety Justin Simmons stepped in front of a Philip Rivers pass that sailed away from its intended receiver and the Broncos finally had their first takeaway of the season. That was one of several positives for the Broncos during the first half and they lead their AFC West rivals 17-0 at the break as a result of their efforts.

Denver opened the game by chipping their way down the field with Phillip Lindsay on a 75-yard touchdown drive and then saw Courtland Sutton break tackles on his way to a 70-yard score. They added a field goal in the second quarter and the biggest blemish of the half was a fumble by Joe Flacco on a sack by Uchenna Nwosu.

Lindsay and Royce Freeman have combined for 67 yards on 12 carries while Chargers running back Melvin Gordon has seven carries for 18 yards in his first game action since ending his holdout ahead of Week Four. Austin Ekeler has seven catches, so the Chargers have found use for both of their backs thus far.

None of it has been productive enough, however, and Ekeler fumbled the ball out of the end zone while trying to score on fourth down on the final play of the half. That leaves the Broncos with a 17-point lead to defend after blowing a 14-point edge last weekend.