The Los Angeles Chargers were looking for their third straight win when they welcomed the Denver Broncos to the StubHub Center on Sunday.
It had been five years since the Los Angeles Chargers ran a punt back for a touchdown, but that was how the party got started inside the StubHub Center on Sunday. Travis Benjamin returned a punt 65 yards for a score to give the Chargers a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter, and we were off from there. Denver would actually turn it over the next possession, but would stop the Bolts on four plays from the one yard line to keep the lead at seven.
Los Angeles and Denver would hit halftime with the Chargers up 14-0, as Philip Rivers hit Austin Eleker for a one-yard touchdown with a little over seven minutes left in the half. The story of the first half was the Los Angeles defense, as they forced two turnovers, while pressing the Broncos into going only 2-for-9 on third down. Denver was playing without three of their receivers, and it showed in the offense sputtering all game long.
Denver looked to get something going halfway through the third quarter, when Trevor Siemian hit Demaryius Thomas on a deep ball into the Chargers red zone. However, Thomas was caused with offensive pass interference, killing the drive. Los Angeles would tack on a touchdown later in the second half, as Rivers hit Benjamin for his second score of the afternoon.
For Denver, this has to be a wake up call, as they have looked very bad the last two weeks. Siemian was obviously playing hurt, and the rest of the offense did not do much to pick him up. For a team who looked like a contender in the division early in the year, it may be back to square one for head coach Vance Joseph in his first season at the helm.
1. Travis Benjamin, Los Angeles Chargers
Benjamin got the scoring started early, as he returned a punt 65 yards for the opening score. It was the Chargers first punt return for a TD since 2012, and really got the ball rolling for the Chargers. Playing in front of mostly Denver fans, Los Angeles sealed the win when Rivers hit Benjamin for his second score of the afternoon.
2. Los Angeles Chargers pass rush
The Bolts stuck it to Trevor Siemian in this one, as they harassed him all afternoon. Joey Bosa racked up two sacks in the game, as he and Melvin Ingram pressure the Broncos quarterback into bad decisions all game long. In total, Los Angeles got to Siemian five times for sacks, and forced him to fumble twice, and throw an interception.
3. Von Miller, Denver Broncos
Von Miller continues to etch his name in Broncos history, and on Sunday, he passed Karl Mecklenberg for second place on the all-time Denver sack list. The sack was Miller’s 79.5 of his career, as he and the rest of the defense tried so hard to keep them in the game. The offense is just a joke at this point, and even this elite defense cannot help them find the win column.
The Denver Broncos were road favorites in this one, though this game was mostly a pick-em throughout the week. Los Angeles was able to take care of business, winning their second straight divisional game. The over/under was set at 40.5 points, and these teams struggled to hit the 20 point mark in this one. The odds on this game changed throughout to week, so always be sure to check out sportsbookreview.com during the week for the latest odds and trends.
Both of these teams will be playing road games next weekend, and they each have stiff competition. The Broncos will be traveling to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs inside Arrowhead Stadium, while the Chargers head East to take on the New England Patriots inside Foxborough.