Broncos hold Chargers, Melvins at bay just enough in Week 1 win
Sep 13 2017
There is no way a team can have as bad of luck as the San Diego Chargers had last season. There was nothing in front of him except green grass. Monday night proved to be quite the opening act.
But this time, Hayward couldn't hang on.
After helping build a commanding 24-7 lead in the first three quarters, Trevor Siemian nearly watched it slip out of his hands.
Rivers threw touchdown passes to Keenan Allen and Travis Benjamin following the takeaways to make it 24-21.
The Broncos never trailed again. Rookie kicker Younghoe Koo drilled what looked like a tying 44-yard field goal, but the Broncos called a timeout just before the snap. Few games between these teams will match the season opener in 1994, the season the Chargers went to their lone Super Bowl.
Then, they went scoreless for almost 37 minutes. His lone interception was batted up into the air and landed into the hands of a Charger, in the play that spurred the team's late comeback.
Meanwhile, the Chargers' defense made Siemian look like a potential Pro Bowler. The Chargers, now under Anthony Lynn, are trying to win the division for the first time since 2009. After trading punts, Philip Rivers and the offense had two minutes and one time out to drive down the field.
However, Siemian outshined the veteran quarterback, throwing for 219-yards, three total touchdowns and an interception.
There were signs of life, of course. Running back C.J. Anderson is healthy after playing just seven games in 2016 before undergoing season-ending knee surgery while former Kansas City star Jamaal Charles will try to revive his career after appearing in only eight contests over the last two seasons due to his own knee woes. With Rivers guiding the offense, there's always a chance. The ball deflected off the feet of two players before Adrian Phillips plucked the ball before it hit the ground. Converting on multiple third downs - the defining marker in Monday's outing - Siemian finished a 13-play, 70-yard drive with a 5-yard pass to Bennie Fowler, the first of his two scores. Fifteen yards were enforced on the ensuing kickoff.
Mike Murray: "For me this all hinges on the play of the Chargers offensive line". No matter what happened in the three quarters prior, the Chargers seemingly found any way possible to lose a football game late in regulation.
His second dart to Fowler extended Denver's lead to 21-7 in the third quarter.
"It was incredible. It felt great to go out there and get two touchdowns". Denver went from the No. 3-ranked run defense in the National Football League during its 2015 Super Bowl season, allowing just 83.6 rushing yards per game, to No. 28 last season, giving up 130.3 yards per contest. Fresh set of downs. "I've actually blocked a couple of field goals in college".
Following the loss, Lynn said he felt his team ditched the ground game, and that a more consistent pounding would've exhausted the Broncos out.