Three in a row: Chargers shutout Broncos

21-0. The Chargers handed the Broncos their first shutout in over 24 years and completely dominated them from start to finish. They got their first win in Los Angeles and their third straight overall. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram wreaked havoc on the Broncos overmatched offensive line all day long and had Trevor Siemian feeling pressure on every snap.

The offense did enough in a very tough matchup against what is likely still the best defense in the league. Despite Melvin Gordon getting absolutely nothing going on the ground, Philip Rivers and the rest of the offense made enough plays. Fortunately, the Chargers continued to heavily target Hunter Henry and he ended up with a team high 73 yards.

After Siemian completed a desperation heave on third down on the opening drive, Adrian Phillips stripped A.J. Derby of the ball and the Chargers recovered. On their very first play, Henry caught a short pass and ran for 34 yards. The Chargers would then be stuffed on four straight runs from the one and give the ball back to the Broncos. After the initial momentum appeared to be squandered, the Chargers responded admirably and came up with a stop. Travis Benjamin returned the ensuing punt for a touchdown and the Chargers never looked back.

The Broncos never really threatened after that and the Chargers offense didn't have to do much the rest of the game. The only negative for the Chargers is they did fail to capitalize on a few big opportunities. Obviously having four tries from the one and coming away with zero points is unacceptable, and it would've been nice to see the coaching staff switch it up and try something other than four straight runs up the gut.

The defense also should've had an even bigger day as they dropped at least three or four more interceptions, several of them inconceivably easy lobs from Siemian. The run defense still wasn't great, but looked better than it has most of the season. When Denzel Perryman returns and bolsters the currently weak linebacking corp, the run defense should get much better. Until then, the pass rush and the play of Trevor Williams and Casey Hayward in the secondary will have to continue to carry the defense.

Benjamin had an incredible day, not only returning the punt for a touchdown but also catching a 45 yard touchdown on which he caught a short crossing route and turned on the burners to take it all the way to the house. It was also a breakout game of sorts for rookie Austin Ekeler. He was much more involved than he has been all season, carrying seven times for 38 yards and adding four receptions for six yards and a touchdown. His snaps have been gradually increasing and it will be interesting to see what type of role he plays going forward. You can read my film breakdown of Ekeler in the preseason here.

Ultimately, it was an all-around great performance. The Chargers took advantage of all the Broncos injuries and played their best game of the season. For once it wasn't a down to the wire nail-biting finish, and the Chargers finally managed to play a game without major theatrics. They're now right back in the thick of a wide open AFC playoff picture as they travel to New England next week. On to the Patriots.


Popular posts from this blog

Dak Prescott disrespects Chargers defensive line: "Up front, they might not be the most talented team we play"

The Chargers officially have a new franchise player: Joey Bosa is on a record setting pace

Chargers bring in three kickers for workout - including Younghoe Koo