The Denver Broncos outlasted the San Diego Chargers in an ugly, turnover-filled duel in NFL Week 8
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Coming into NFL Week 8, the argument could be made that the AFC West is the best division in football. However, that would be put to the test at Sports Authority Field at Mile High as the Denver Broncos welcomed the San Diego Chargers. And while both teams had looked good coming into the week, there was nothing pretty about their battle on Sunday.
Both the Broncos and Chargers scored on their first drives, San Diego taking a 7-3 lead after answering a field goal with a touchdown. However, things got quite ugly from there in the first half. After seven consecutive punts between the two teams, the Chargers got the ball and Philip Rivers threw his first pick of the afternoon. This one went to Bradley Roby, who was off to the races for a 49-yard pick-six. On the ensuing four drives between these squads, there was a punt, a lost fumble, a missed field goal, and a turnover on downs before the merciful end of the half. The Broncos led 10-7.
Coming out of halftime, though, the wheels started to come off for Rivers and San Diego. They opened the third quarter by throwing a pick, allowing a touchdown to Denver, and then throwing yet another interception. They got a bit lucky, though, when Devontae Booker fumbled on the next possession. Rivers then seemed to have it together as he drove 98 yards for a score. San Diego’s defense gave it right back though, as the Broncos went up 24-13.
After a Chargers pun, the Broncos were looking to put a nail in the coffin. Instead, the turnover-fest continued as Trevor Siemian threw a pick-six of his own. The Chargers went for two, but it was no good, leaving Denver ahead 24-19. At home, the Broncos then pushed that to 27-19 on their next drive with a field goal.
Still alive, though, the Chargers put together a wonderful drive. Once they got deep in the red zone, though, their offense stalled and they turned the ball over on downs. However, they kept breathing and forced the Broncos into a quick three-and-out. Even still, San Diego had nothing as they turned the ball over on downs again. At that point, Denver was able to run out the clock and secure the big AFC West victory.
Denver Broncos Defense – Rather than picking just one player, you have to give this whole unit the nod as a star. They finished the night with four sacks, five tackles for loss, 13 passes defended, 13 quarterback hits, and three interceptions with one getting returned for a touchdown.
Melvin Gordon, Chargers – Even against the stout Denver defense, Gordon finished the day with 23 carries for 111 yards to go with four catches for 44 yards as well.
Devontae Booker, Broncos – Yeah, I know he had a costly fumble and his yards per carry average was less than ideal. However, the rookie contributed 84 all-purpose yards and a score on the ground while also coming up with key chunks of yardage.