The Denver Broncos nearly set a franchise record in rushing yards and, yet, somehow the defense kept them in this game. The Los Angeles Chargers moved the ball a lot, but stopped in the red zone. In overtime, a blunt punt by Montrell Washington sealed their fate in overtime giving the Chargers an easy field goal to win 19-16.
4:55 PM MT: Albert Okwuegbunam was a surprise healthy scratch for tonight’s game. With rookie Greg Dulcich back from IR, it looks like the doghouse for Albert O is getting a little more extreme.
18:14 MT: Denver won the opening coin toss and delayed possession into the second half. Not sure if it would matter either way. The offense didn’t do much at the start or end of either half.
18:33 MT: Russell Wilson and the Broncos offense overcame two early penalties by Lloyd Cushenberry and Cam Fleming to drive down the field for the game’s first score. Brandon McManus would kick a 51-yard field goal to give Denver an early 3–0 lead.
6:45 PM MT: After getting the ball back the Broncos would go back to back to back big plays to went up 10-0 over the Chargers. The first was a 37-yard pass to Jerry Jeudy on third-and-long, then Wilson found a rookie Greg Dulcich open for a 39-yard touchdown pass.
19:02 MT: Justin Herbert and the Chargers responded with a 15-play, 82-yard drive of their own that was capped by a 6-yard touchdown run by Austin Ekeler to cut the lead back to a field goal at 10–7.
19:19 MT: The Broncos announced that DL Dre’Mont Jones would be questionable to return to the game with a neck injury. He was back in the game after just a few games.
7:27 PM MT: With about a minute to go in the half, the Chargers were able to tie things up 10-10 apiece. They had their hopes for a touchdown dashed in back-to-back games by Baron Browning. First, he sacked Justin Herbert then deflected his third down pass.
7:31 PM MT: Getting the ball back with just 53 seconds left in the half was all Wilson and the Broncos needed. Wilson connected with KJ Hamler on a 47-yard bomb this ultimately led to points and a 13–10 halftime lead for Denver at halftime. Full second quarter summary.
20:02 MT: The Chargers marched right down the field on their opening second-half possession, but Denver’s defense stiffened in the red zone to force another field goal attempt. Los Angeles would tie things at 13 midway through the third quarter.
20:23 MT: Denver’s third quarter woes continued throughout this game. They scored zero, while the Chargers scored on their first possession and are in field goal range to start the fourth quarter on their second. Full recap of the third quarter.
20:26 MT: Beleaguered rookie cornerback Damarri Mathis had three defensive pass interference calls against him in this game, but he never stopped. He came up big on fourth down to break up a pass to get Denver the ball back.
20:40 MT: After punting back to the Chargers, the Broncos defense had to come back for another drive. Justin Herbert’s first pass was tipped by K’Wuan Williams where it was intercepted by Baron Browning at the Chargers 30-yard line. The offense would do nothing with that opportunity except give Brandon McManus a 47-yard field goal attempt that put Denver back on top 16-13.
20:54 MT: Denver’s defense went penalty crazy on the Chargers next drive. With 4 minutes to go in the game, the Chargers added a field goal to tie the game at 16. However, Denver has 151 penalty yards, which is the most the team has recorded in a single game in over forty years.
21:13 MT: Both teams couldn’t do much in the final minutes and the game goes to overtime all tied at 16.
21:32 MT: With overtime down and the Broncos defense forcing a second three and out in overtime, PJ Locke was blocked in Montrell Washington for the fumble that was recovered by the Chargers where they would kick a 39-yard field goal for the 19–16 win. .
The Denver Broncos (2-3) are on the road on Monday Night Football to face their AFC West rival Los Angeles Chargers (3-2). A win by either team will keep them within striking distance of the AFC West lead Kansas City Chiefs.
The 2022 regular season is still relatively young, but for the Broncos they already have their backs against a wall in the AFC West. They lost to the Las Vegas Raiders two weeks ago and if they lose again tonight against the Chargers then all could be lost. Head coach Nathaniel Hackett noted that winning divisional games is important, but the focus now is just getting a winning streak.
“For us, we’re 0-1 right now in the West,” Hackett said last week. “The past is the past now. We have to find a way to win football. It happens to be a Western opponent, which makes it more exciting because it’s a rivalry. It is a very good football team. We’ve got to get out there and we’ve got to look for it.”
All the narratives that have built around this Broncos team through five games could be destroyed with a strong performance and a win against a playoff-caliber team like the Justin Herbert-led Chargers.
Kickoff is set for 6:15 p.m. Mile High on Monday, October 17, 2022 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. You can look at the live stream of the game via FuboTV or on NBC.
In partnership with DraftKings Sportsbook, I am covering all my options this year on TallySight. Our staff is pretty confident that the Broncos will lay another egg in this game as is everyone but myself predicted a loss to the Chargers tonight. I was the only optimist who thinks the Broncos can actually win this game.