Broncos Comeback to Beat Chargers 23-22

Broncos End Chargers 6 Game Winning Streak Falll to 7-3

 Photo via Mark Suleymanov

Photo via Mark Suleymanov

Chargers came into Sunday riding high on a 6 game winning streak. That changed losing to divisional rival Denver Broncos 23-22. The most thing I found impressive was the Denver D pressuring Rivers into making bad decisions. Both picks Rivers threw were plays that he was pressured. The Chargers also lost another defensive anchor in DT Corey Liuget early in the first quarter, also losing MLB Denzel Perryman last week with a tore LCL. With those key injuries the Chargers allowed Phillip Lindsay and company to control the ground which was just enough to win. Another mistake the Chargers committed 14 penalties and not stopping the Broncos in a key moment part of the game that if they did stop them then the outcome would’ve been different.

 Photo via Joe Amon

Photo via Joe Amon

The Denver D was coming out the gate hot rushing Rivers making the pass rush very present. The Broncos did sack Rivers 3 times including Von Miller’s 100th career sack. Rivers while being rushed did throw two picks. One was a underthrown pass to Tyrell Williams, throwing off his back foot, that Chris Harris Jr. easily caught. Lucky for the Chargers the Broncos did not convert that TO into points. The next drive it led to a turnover on downs. The 2nd pick was a quick WR screen to Travis Benjamin that Von Miller seen and was in the right place at the right time and picked it off and would’ve scored if Benjamin didn’t get a score saving tackle. Unfortunately 3 plays later Royce Freeman scored.

 Photo via The Associated Press

Photo via The Associated Press

Rivers didn’t look himself but on paper he did throw 401 yards on 28/43 2 TD and 2 INT. This is Rivers first multi INT game of the season. The Chargers O-line had a hard time containing Von Miller and company and also committed 14 total penalties. Melvin Gordon was also held to 69 yards on the ground but he caught the ball 6 times totaling 87 yards 0 TD. The run game was there but no enough to sustain a steady offensive flow. I did see flashes of the G.O.A.T Antonio Gates catching 5 balls for 80 yards and a TD. Keenan Allen also had a TD with 9 catches and 89 yards. The TD he caught was on an all-out blitz on the goaline that had only one DB in the endzone but left Allen alone for a wide open TD.

 Photo via Robert Gauthier

Photo via Robert Gauthier

The Chargers took a big hit on defense losing DT Corey Liuget for the season with a knee injury. Last week the Chargers lost MLB Denzel Perryman for the season with a LCL injury. On the plus side the Charger did have DE Joey Bosa back in the lineup for the first time this season, who had a QB rush and a tackle in debut.  With those two injured and out the Broncos rushed for 108 yards including a 40-yard rush from Phillip Lindsay. Case Keenum was held from a TD and only passing for only 205 yards on 19/32 passing. Keenum did link with rookie Courtland Sutton for a clutch catch and go that led the Broncos to get into FG position and win it as time expired.  

 Photo via Chargers

Photo via Chargers

My conclusion of this game is the Chargers have to play smarter not harder. The Chargers committed a total of 14 penalties and with that much mistakes made you can’t win. Another thing that I thought was solved was the kicking problems. Michael Badgley hasn’t missed a kick all season but decided to miss an XP that pretty much decided the game. These mistakes can’t happen if the Chargers want to make the postseason. With key injuries on the D I want to see the rookies Uchenna Nwosu and Justin Jones to step up to the plate, contribute and fill in those spots. LA has the pieces to be great but just needs to put it together. The Chargers host the Arizona Cardinals at home so I see a bounce back game and them getting back on track.