Denver Broncos 17, San Diego Chargers 3
The San Diego Chargers drop to 3-9 on the season after falling to AFC divisional opponent Denver Broncos (10-2) Sunday by a final of 17-3.
The Bolts’ offense mustered just 272 yards on the afternoon, but the defense played well to keep them in the game.
Jason Verrett had a great interception in the end zone as he high pointed the ball and snatched it away from Emanuel Sanders, but other than that, it was another uninspired effort by this team.
On the opening drive of the game, Brock Osweiler and the Broncos drove 76-yards in 8 plays and connected with Demaryius Thomas for seven. The 3-yard completion was Thomas’ 2nd TD of the season and also finished with 61 yards on 6 catches.
The Chargers had great field position to start their second drive, right at midfield. In 8 plays they moved 21 yards and set up Josh Lambo with a 48-yard attempt that went wide right. Lambo has been consistent all season, hitting 19/21 kicks with 8 of those +40 yards and 2 50+ yarders.
After a Broncos punt, the Chargers got the ball back. On the last play of the first quarter, Philip Rivers was hit hard, forcing a bad throw that was picked off and returned for a TD by Danny Trevathon.
It was the fifth time this season that Rivers has thrown a pick-six and also the fifth defensive touchdown for the Broncos.
— NFL (@NFL) December 6, 2015
Also in the firth quarter, wide receiver Dontrelle Inman was hit hard in the head and had to be carted off the field. Hopefully he is ok and can return to the team before the season is over, but get healthy please, Dontrelle.
Corner back Brandon Flowers also sustained a knee injury and was carted off just a few plays after the Inman injury.
The second quarter time of possession was dominated by the Broncos as they had a 14 play drive that lasted over 7 minutes but went just 46 yards. The drive resulted in a Brandon McManus field goal and extended the Broncos lead to 17-0.
The Chargers were not to be shutout however, and before the half drove down into field goal range. Lambo redeemed himself by converting the 51-yard attempt, but unfortunately that was all the scoring the Chargers would do on the afternoon.
Chargers got the ball down 17-3 to start the half but Melvin Gordon fumbled the ball and was recovered by Von Miller of the Broncos. It was the 5th fumble by Gordon on the season, and the fourth that he’s lost. He’s had a tough time holding onto the ball in his rookie campaign. He was benched later, for fumbling again but the ball went out of bounds, by Coach McCoy after the turnover, finishing with 55 yards on 12 carries.
“You can’t put the ball on the ground. You’re not going to play if you put the ball on the ground.” -McCoy on decision to bench Gordon
— #DENvsSD (@Chargers) December 7, 2015
On the Chargers next possession, Rivers hit Malcolm Floyd for a 15-yard completion but Floyd fumbled as well for the Bolts third turnover of the afternoon.
That set up the Broncos with good field position but on a 2nd and 10 from the SD 27, Brock Osweiler was looking for Emanual Sanders in the end zone but was picked by Jason Verrett. It was Verrett’s second INT of the season, his first was the pick-six against the Chicago Bears on MNF.
Very uneventful as there was no scoring in the last quarter.
Philip Rivers finished just 18/35 for 202 yards, 0 TD’s and 1 INT. He was consistently under pressure as he was sacked 4 times, twice by Von Miller. The defense played well, surrendering just 10 points to the Denver O, but had no help from the offense. The only wide receiver that had more than 1 catch was Javontee Herndon with 2.
The Chargers haven’t beaten an AFC West foe in over a year and it was the second consecutive home game they were unable to score a TD (they were blown out by KC 33-3 two weeks ago).
Philip Rivers – 18/35 for 202 yards, 0 TD’s, 1 INT
Melvin Gordon – 15 carries, 55 yards
Antonio Gates – 6 receptions, 50 yards
Jason Verrett for the nice INT and Denzel Perryman for leading the defense with 10 tackles.
San Diego Chargers (3-9) @ Kansas City Chiefs (7-5)
San Diego will head into hostile territory to face the Chiefs on the road next Sunday. The Chiefs had a comeback victory this week over the Buffalo Bills 30-22. The defense has been playing lights off and will be putting pressure on Rivers all morning. Jeremy Maclin has become the stud wideout he was in Philadelphia over the past few weeks, adding two fourth quarter TD’s in the game.