80 degrees – sunny
- The Chargers had an excellent defensive game plan. They moved LB Melvin Ingram all over the formation, and he and DE Joey Bosa performed very well. Ingram is not a household name, but should be considered a defensive player of the year candidate.
- The Chargers also smartly stayed within themselves on offense and did not try to do to too much, with their defense dominating the game. They mixed in rookie RB Austin Ekeler effectively, and with the Broncos corners locking down their outside WRs, QB Philip Rivers took the matchup with TE Hunter Henry and used him effectively.
- Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn is improving. He was caught with a tough decision in the first quarter. His offense had a 1st and goal from the one-yard line. Three successive runs with RB Melvin Gordon into the middle of the line did not work; after all, the Broncos are the best rushing defense in the league. Would Lynn choose to go for it on 4th down? He did…and ran it with Gordon again, with the same result. The Broncos took over on downs. One might argue that the Chargers would be doing well to simply take the FG and a 3-0 lead, but Lynn chose otherwise. We generally feel that first points are good points, especially if your team isn’t quite an established and winning team just yet.
- The Broncos, on the other hand, seem to have forgotten RB CJ Anderson. Their offense was out of sync all day, and absolutely no part of their offensive game was established. The Broncos defense remains among the best defenses in the league, and on this day, they only yielded 14 offensive points to the Chargers.
- A key play call came with the Chargers leading 14-0 but facing a 3rd and 11 with just under six minutes left in the game. A stop would give the Broncos another chance to get back into the game, but the Chargers made an excellent play call on a seam route to WR Travis Benjamin who turned the reception into a game sealing TD. This was a good example of the Chargers utilizing all of their personnel to produce the win, as the Broncos took away TE Antonio Gates and WR Keenan Allen for much of the day.