The Chargers lost to the Broncos, 17-3, at Qualcomm Stadium Sunday to fall to 3-9 on the season. Here are some of the big moments:
The Broncos scored on their first possession of the game with a drive that went eight plays, 76 yards and took 3:45 off the clock. It would be their only offensive touchdown of the game. The other TD would come from a pick-6 off Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers late in the first quarter, and the Broncos would add a field goal in the second quarter to bring their lead to 17 points, where it would remain when the game finished.
For the second time this season, Philip Rivers and Co. finished a game without having scored a touchdown. The other time it happened was against the Chiefs – another AFC West opponent. Both touchdown-less games happened at home.
Josh Lambo missed a 48-yard field goal in the first quarter. The rookie kicker came into the game 19-of-21 on field goals (one of those failed attempts was from 60 yards.) Today, his kick sailed wide right.
The Broncos took over at their own 38, but ended up punting after the drive stalled.
Lambo made a 51-yard field goal in the second quarter, to put the Chargers on the board before halftime. It would be the team's only points of the game.
Broncos kicker Brandon McManus missed a 52-yard field goal in the third quarter to keep the score at 17-3, Denver.
Wide receiver Malcom Floyd fumbled on the ensuing drive and the Broncos recovered the ball.
BIG PLAYS BY DEFENSE:
For the Broncos …
ILB Danny Trevathan notched the first touchdown of his career in the first quarter, when he intercepted Rivers and ran the ball back 25 yards for a pick-6. It was Rivers’ fifth pick-6 of the season and it brought the Broncos up 14 points in the first half.
Rivers would get another pick-6 in the second quarter, but it was nullified by the officials because of a Broncos holding penalty.
Rivers was sacked by the Broncos defense four times – twice by OLB Von Miller and one time each by OLBs Shaquil Barrett and Shane Ray.
For the Chargers…
Cornerback Jason Verrett had an interception of his own off Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler in the third quarter. The deep pass was into the end zone and intended for WR Emmanuel Sanders. It was Verrett’s second interception of the season and the third of his career.
The Chargers had one sack on Osweiler, and it came from OLB Melvin Ingram, who now leads the team in quarterback takedowns (5). Ingram actually had two sacks, but the first one was negated because of a roughing the passer penalty after Ingram’s arm sweeped Osweiler’s head. The Broncos were gifted 15 yards and a first down. Two plays later, Ingram sacked Osweiler again, but this time, without a flag.
The Chargers fumbled four times and lost the ball on two of those.
Running back Melvin Gordon bounced for a 21-yard gain in the third quarter, but a few plays later, fumbled the ball. The Broncos recovered. On Gordon’s next possession, he fumbled again, but it went out-of-bounds and the Chargers kept the ball.
Running back Donald Brown also fumbled once out-of-bounds, and Floyd fumbled after a catch and lost the ball.
GORDON … GOES … SORTA
Running back Melvin Gordon rushed for 55 yards on 12 attempts -- good enough for an average of 4.6 yards per carry -- with his longest gain of the game being 21 yards.
He also fumbled twice, losing one of those. After his second fumble, he did not return for another snap.
“That’s been a rough part for me this season,” Gordon said. “I’ve been focusing on it heavy too. I just lost focus on that one play, and I paid for it. Von [Miller] got me. He was trying to get me earlier in the game, but I had it high enough and tight enough to where he couldn’t get it out. I got loose with it just a little bit, and he got his hand in there and I couldn’t get it out. It’s tough.
“I probably would have got maybe 18 or 20 [carries] if I didn’t hurt myself.”
MILE HIGH WEST:
Once again, Qualcomm was full of the other team's fans, with what looked like an 80/20 split (the 80-percent being orange, of course).
"It was unbelievable how much orange there was," Osweiler said after the game. "It's just a testament that we truly do have the best fans in the world."
Rivers addressed the discrepancy too, but with a much different feel:
"We've gotten used to it, unfortunately. Us losing doesn't help."
The Chargers have lost at home this season to all three of the team’s division rivals: 37-29 to the Raiders, 33-3 to Kansas City and 14-3 to the Broncos. The last time they beat a division opponent was more than a year ago: November 16, 2014, to be exact, when the Chargers beat the Raiders 13-6.
If you don’t count the fourth-quarter “garbage time” points against the Raiders – (who were up 37-6 at the start of the fourth quarter) -- AFC West opponents have outscored the Chargers 87-12.
Even more depressing, San Diego's offense has only put up nine points over the past 10 quarters at home.
The Chargers have three more contests in the division this season, all on the road.