At Los Angeles
4:00 p.m. ET
70 degrees and clear
Key Coaching Decision #1: (DEN ball, leading 6-0 / fourth-and-5, DEN 47 / 13:03 Q2)
• The Broncos line up to punt near midfield. Rather than punt, Colby Wadman throws a short pass to fullback Andy Janovich for a 12-yard gain and a first down. On the very next play, rookie running back sensation Phillip Lindsay runs for a 41-yard touchdown.
• For the second week in a row, the Chargers punt return unit has given up a fake punt for a first down. This is something that special teams coach George Stewart needs to figure out.
Key Coaching Decision #2: (DEN ball, leading 7-6 / fourth-and-1, LAC 16 / 6:57 Q2)
• Rather than kick a field goal to make it a 10-6 lead, the Broncos unsuccessfully attempt a fourth-down conversion. Lindsay is stopped for no gain and the Broncos turn the ball over on downs.
• The Chargers take over at the 16-yard line and drive 84 yards in nine plays to take a 13-7 lead before halftime. This was a major momentum change that favored the Chargers.
Key Coaching Decision #3: (LAC ball, trailing 20-19 / fourth-and-1, DEN 12 / 6:51 Q4)
• In range to kick the go-ahead FG, the Chargers instead keep the offense on the field and line up to go for it. But they are just trying to draw the Broncos offsides, and when it doesn’t work, Anthony Lynn wastes a timeout. Mike Badgley kicks a 30-yard field goal to give the Chargers the lead. They were never in a position down the stretch where they needed that timeout, but trying to draw Denver offsides was a low-percentage play and not worth wasting the timeout.
Key Coaching Decision #4: (LAC ball, leading 22-20 / third-and-7, DEN 48 / 2:00 Q4)
• Denver has used its final timeout. They have no timeouts down the stretch. Rather than run the ball and take time off the clock and force the Broncos to go the length of the field with no timeouts, the Chargers stop the clock by calling a pass play. The pass, if you can call it that, is incomplete. Denver brought pressure and veteran Chargers QB Philip Rivers fired the ball into the ground to avoid a sack. Actually, a sack would have been far more favorable here, as it would have allowed the clock to run.
• The Broncos ended the Chargers’ 6-game winning streak.
• The Chargers dominated time of possession (37:49 to 22:11), yet still lost the game.
• The Chargers also doubled the amount of penalties committed (14 penalties for 120 yards) whereas the Broncos were penalized just 7 times for 43 yards.
• Chargers defensive lineman Joey Bosa made his 2018 debut and was in mostly during just pass-rush situations (31 snaps).
• Broncos QB Case Keenum wasn’t sacked and was hit only four times. A number of those hits could have been sacks, but Keenum got rid of the ball just in time to avoid taking the sack. As much as Keenum should be thankful to his offensive line for protecting him, Keenum saved the offensive line from having sacks count against their total.
• Undrafted rookie running back Phillip Lindsay found the end zone twice and ran for 79 yards on 11 carries and caught 4 passes for 27 yards. He’s got a unique burst. The Broncos found a good player after the draft. He’s not the only Broncos rookie that is showing some signs of being a special player. Wide receiver Courtland Sutton had 3 catches for 78 yards.
• Very quietly, Chargers running back Melvin Gordon is having a special season. He carried the ball 18 times for 69 yards and had 6 receptions for 87 yards.