Game Day Review: Broncos take down Chargers with last-second field goal
CARSON, Calif. — The Broncos got their first AFC West road game victory since 2015 as they snapped the Los Angeles Chargers winning streak on Sunday.
It was a back and fourth game as the Broncos attempted a fake punt and Von Miller got his third career interception.
As the Broncos were down by two, poor clock management by the Chargers gave the Broncos a chance with no timeouts and less than two minutes left.
The offense was able to set up a last-second field goal by Brandon McManus for a 23-22 road win.
RELATED: Photo gallery and recap of the game
With the win, the Broncos improve to a 4-6 record as the Chargers fall to 7-3.
Follow along with the game in the live blog below and be sure to like FOX31 on Facebook to join the conversation and share your thoughts. We’ll have pictures to share with your friends and more.
You can also show off your Broncos pride by uploading your photos to our gallery.
The Chargers won the coin toss and elected to defer giving Case Keenum and the Broncos offense the ball first.
Keenum overthrew a wide open Courtland Sutton on first down. On second down, Keenum found Phillip Lindsay for eight yards. An offsides penalty on the Chargers gave Denver a free five yards.
But the Broncos weren’t able to capitalize on the penalty as Keenum threw an incomplete pass to Emmanuel Sanders and DaeSean Hamilton came up short and the Broncos had to punt.
Phillip Rivers and the Chargers offense came out next and gained only a few yards on their first two plays, but had a 28-yard gain on third and six. That would be the theme of this offensive series as the Chargers continued to convert on third down.
Following some penalties, the Chargers set up third and 25.
They could not convert that and instead settled for a field goal to end an opening drive that took nearly 7 minutes – but only gained 49 yards.
The Chargers were up 3-0.
On the kickoff return, Andy Janovich was called for holding to put the Broncos offense on their own seven-yard line to start their next drive. Keenum found Sutton for nine yards and Lindsay had a five yard gain.
But everyone was covered on third down and Keenum had to throw it away and bring out the punting unit.
The Chargers continued to cruise down the field on their next offensive series. On third and 10, Rivers found a wide open Mike Williams for 28-yards then Virgil Green had a 36-yard gain.
Following two penalties, it made it third and 21 for the Chargers, but they were only able to get 13 of those yards and set up another field goal.
It was 6-0 Chargers to end the first quarter.
The Broncos offense got things going in the second quarter.
On third and four, Keenum overthrew Sutton to set up another punt for the Broncos, but the coaches pulled out the trickery as Colby Wadman ran a fake punt to throw it to Andy Janovich for the first down.
That was the spark the team needed, on the next play Lindsay broke free for a 41-yard touchdown to give the Broncos the 7-0 lead.
The momentum continued for the Broncos as Adam Gotsis was able to get a sack on Rivers. Then, with a delay of game penalty, Rivers struggled with the snap and threw it to Williams where Chris Harris Jr. stepped in front for the interception.
It was Harris’ 18th interception of his career and he became the only NFL player with multiple interceptions in each of the last seven seasons.
However, the Broncos were unable to capitalize on the interception as the Chargers defense held Denver as they faced fourth and one from the Chargers 16-yard line.
Instead of kicking the field goal, the Broncos went for it and the Chargers defense stopped Lindsay.
The Chargers made them pay for the move on the next drive as Rivers immediately hit Melvin Gordon for a 32-yard screen pass to put them in field goal range. Then found Tramaine Brock for a 29-yard reception for a first down at the Broncos four-yard line.
Rivers found a wide open man in the end zone for the touchdown and take back the 13-7 lead.
And that’s where things would stand at halftime.
The Chargers got the ball to open the second half – and it didn’t take long for them to start cruising down the field.
Los Angeles was able to convert on third and one and then had a 17-yard gain to put them at the Broncos 28-yard line. They entered the red zone with another 13-yard gain and a penalty gave them first and goal.
Rivers was able to find Antonio Gates in the back of the end zone for the Chargers touchdown. After missing the extra point, the score was 19-7.
The Broncos offense came out with an immediate three and out, but luckily the Von Miller was here to save the day for the Broncos as he intercepted Rivers and had a 42-yard interception return to the Chargers 18-yard line.
The interception helped set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Freeman to cut the Chargers lead to 19-14.
Starting the fourth quarter with a second and ten from their own 46-yard line, Keenum hit Sutton for a 39-yard gain to the Chargers 15-yard line. After gains by Lindsay and Freeman, Lindsay got the ball to the Chargers 2-yard line.
And it would be Lindsay that would get the Broncos another touchdown and reclaim the lead.
The Broncos went for two, but Keenum just came up short. The score was 20-19.
The lead wouldn’t last long though, as the Chargers offense came out with another field goal on their next drive to make it 22-20.
It all came down to a last second field goal by Brandon McManus for the walk-off winning field goal to give the Broncos a 23-22 road game over the Chargers.AlertMe