The Broncos blew a lead in the second half of last Sunday’s loss to the Jaguars, so there was a familiar feeling creeping in during the second half of this Sunday’s game against the Chargers.
Denver led 17-0 at halftime, but didn’t get a first down in the third quarter and the Chargers were able to cut the lead to seven points. They wouldn’t get any closer than that, however.
Philip Rivers threw three incompletions before a punt with 3:30 left in the game. Phillip Lindsay ran for 32 yards to get the Broncos into Chargers territory on the next offensive play and then picked up 13 yards to set up a 46-yard Brandon McManus field goal try later in the drive. McManus made the kick and the Broncos got a 20-13 win after the Chargers kicked a field goal to set up a last-ditch onside kick that the Broncos recovered.
The victory is Broncos head coach Vic Fangio’s first with the team and Lindsay was a big reason why they broke their four-game losing streak. He ran 15 times for 114 yards and scored the team’s first touchdown of the game. Lindsay also caught four passes for 33 yards and Royce Freeman chipped in with 61 rushing yards as the Broncos found success keeping the ball on the ground on Sunday.
The Chargers couldn’t duplicate that success and Philip Rivers wound up throwing 48 passes. Only six of them went to Keenan Allen as the Broncos did a fine job of keeping the Chargers’ top receiver from beating them on Sunday afternoon. Melvin Gordon ran 12 times for 31 yards in his 2019 debut, but Austin Ekeler saw plenty of time and caught a team-high 15 passes on the day.
He couldn’t break any for big plays, however, and Rivers threw a pair of interceptions on a day when the Chargers offense never got into rhythm. That’s the kind of defensive outing the Broncos were hoping to get with Fangio at the helm and they’ll try to make it two in a row against the Titans next weekend.