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Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers Pick & Prediction DEC 27TH 2020

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Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers Recap DEC 27TH 2020

Phillip Lindsay rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown Sunday as the Denver Broncos upset the Los Angeles Chargers 20-13 in Carson, Calif., presenting Vic Fangio with his first win as an NFL coach.

Denver (1-4) led 17-0 at halftime and did just enough to hold off Los Angeles (2-3) after the break. Its only points in the second half came on Brandon McManus' 46-yard field goal with 1:55 remaining, providing a 20-10 lead.

Rookie kicker Chase McLaughlin drew the Chargers within seven points on a 32-yard field goal with 10 seconds left, but the Broncos recovered the ensuing onside kick to seal the outcome.

Quarterback Joe Flacco completed 14 of 20 passes for 182 yards with a touchdown and an interception for Denver, which outgained Los Angeles 350-246.

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers endured a rough day, hitting on 32 of 48 passes for just 211 yards and tossing two interceptions. Los Angeles had two turnovers inside the 2-yard line, fumbling out the end zone and throwing an interception in the end zone from the 2.

The Broncos thoroughly dominated the first half, beginning with the afternoon's first possession. The Broncos ripped off a 75-yard drive in seven plays, capped when Lindsay scored on a 4-yard run just 3:54 into the game.

It became 14-0 with 4:58 to play in the quarter when Flacco and Courtland Sutton combined for a 70-yard touchdown pass, the kind of big play Denver's offense didn't produce often enough during an 0-4 start to the season. Its longest play entering the day was 53 yards.

McManus upped the margin to 17-0 with a 40-yard field goal with 5:17 left in the first half. The Broncos' defense made the lead last into halftime, coming up with a goal-line stand as Kareem Jackson forced an Austin Ekeler fumble inside the 1-yard line on fourth-and-goal after he caught Rivers' pass. The ball went out the end zone for a touchback.

The Chargers frittered away another great chance in the third quarter when Rivers tossed an interception to Alexander Johnson in the end zone. But Desmond King got the Chargers on the board with 31 seconds remaining in the third, returning a Colby Wadman punt 68 yards for a touchdown.

--Field Level Media

The Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers are only playing for pride and draft positioning Sunday afternoon at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., but that doesn't mean the AFC West rivals don't have anything to celebrate.

Both can boast of having a pair of Pro Bowl players. Linebacker Bradley Chubb and safety Justin Simmons were named to the squad from Denver, while defensive end Joey Bosa and wide receiver Keenan Allen represent the Chargers.


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It's a small consolation for teams that had hoped to be playing well into January. Instead they look to the future with their young quarterbacks showing the potential to become franchise mainstays.

For the Chargers (5-9), Justin Herbert stepped into the starting role in Week 2 after Tyrod Taylor was injured in the first week of the season. Herbert has been solid in his rookie season, throwing for 3,781 yards and 27 touchdowns and rushing for another four in 13 games.

Herbert has earned the respect of Broncos coach Vic Fangio.

"Very, very impressed with him -- big arm, big body, fast, strong in the pocket, hard to get down, has really run their offense with a great command," Fangio said Wednesday. "I think their offensive coaches have done a good job bringing him along. He's been very, very impressive."

Herbert is coming off one of his best games of the season. He passed for 314 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for another in an overtime win over the Las Vegas Raiders. It was L.A.'s second successive victory after dropping eight of the previous 10.

Herbert beat the Raiders with Allen, his top receiver, limited with a hamstring injury. Allen didn't practice Wednesday and could be a game-time decision Sunday.


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Herbert's opposite number, Drew Lock, hasn't put up the same numbers but Denver (5-9) thinks it has found its quarterback after four seasons of searching. Lock has thrown just 14 TD passes and 2,330 yards in 11 games, but one of his best outings came against the Chargers on Nov. 1.

The Broncos rallied to erase a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit, winning it on Lock's touchdown pass to KJ Hamler as time expired. Two weeks ago, he had a stunning performance against Carolina, when he was 21-for-27, 280 yards and 4 TDs in a 32-27 triumph.

He struggled last week against Buffalo but hopes to bounce back to finish the season strong.

He'll have to do it against a former teammate who also wants to finish out the year on a high note. Cornerback Chris Harris Jr., a key member of Denver's defense that led the team to the Super Bowl 50 title, has battled injuries in his first year with the Chargers. In Week 3 he suffered a high ankle sprain, a low ankle sprain, a broken toe and a bruised foot, missing seven games.


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He returned Nov. 29. By then L.A.'s playoff hopes were slim but the former All-Pro wanted to play.

"Most guys would have been done for the year," Harris said this week. "I was motivated to try to do whatever I can to get back and help this team."

The Broncos will get help with the return of kicker Brandon McManus, who was placed on the COVID-19 /reserve list for close contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus. His one-game replacement, Taylor Russolino, missed a field goal and two extra points.

--Field Level Media

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Denver Broncos

Los Angeles Chargers

Player Position Lineup
De'Vante Bausby primary: Left Cornerback Starter
Garett Bolles primary: Left Tackle Starter
Noah Fant primary: Tight End Starter
Kareem Jackson primary: Strong Safety Starter
Josey Jewell primary: Inside Linebacker Starter
Alexander Johnson primary: Inside Linebacker Starter
Dre'Mont Jones primary: Defensive End Starter
Drew Lock primary: Quarterback Starter
Tim Patrick primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Malik Reed primary: Strong Linebacker Starter
Dalton Risner primary: Left Guard Starter
Justin Simmons primary: Free Safety Starter
Elijah Wilkinson primary: Right Tackle Starter
Graham Glasgow primary: Right Guard Starter
Melvin Gordon III primary: Runningback Starter
Jeremiah Attaochu primary: Weak Linebacker Starter
Shelby Harris primary: Defensive End Starter
Jerry Jeudy primary: Wide Receiver Starter
KJ Hamler primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Michael Ojemudia primary: Right Cornerback Starter
Lloyd Cushenberry III primary: Center Starter
DeShawn Williams primary: Nose Tackle Starter
Calvin Anderson primary: Offensive Tackle Substitution
Andrew Beck primary: Fullback Substitution
Royce Freeman primary: Runningback Substitution
Troy Fumagalli primary: Tight End Substitution
DaeSean Hamilton primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Alijah Holder primary: Safety Substitution
Joe Jones primary: Inside Linebacker Substitution
Trey Marshall primary: Safety Substitution
Brandon McManus primary: Kicker Substitution
Diontae Spencer primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
DeMarcus Walker primary: Defensive End Substitution
P.J. Locke primary: Safety Substitution
Jacob Bobenmoyer primary: Long Snapper Substitution
Sam Martin primary: Punter Substitution
Nick Vannett primary: Tight End Substitution
Austin Schlottmann primary: Guard Substitution
McTelvin Agim primary: Defensive Linesman Substitution
Derrek Tuszka primary: Linebacker Substitution
LeVante Bellamy primary: Runningback Substitution
Austin Calitro primary: Inside Linebacker Substitution
Anthony Chickillo primary: Outside Linebacker Substitution
Will Parks primary: Safety Substitution
Nate Hairston primary: Cornerback Substitution
Parnell Motley primary: Cornerback Substitution
Bradley Chubb primary: Outside Linebacker Not active
Brett Rypien primary: Quarterback Did not play
Jeff Driskel primary: Quarterback Not active
Netane Muti primary: Guard Did not play
Tyrie Cleveland primary: Wide Receiver Not active
Demar Dotson primary: Offensive Tackle Not active
Sylvester Williams primary: Defensive Linesman Not active
Player Position Lineup
Nasir Adderley primary: Safety Starter
Michael Davis primary: Left Cornerback Starter
Austin Ekeler primary: Runningback Starter
Dan Feeney primary: Center Starter
Jalen Guyton primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Casey Hayward Jr. primary: Right Cornerback Starter
Rayshawn Jenkins primary: Safety Starter
Justin Jones primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Forrest Lamp primary: Left Guard Starter
Denzel Perryman primary: Linebacker Starter
Isaac Rochell primary: Defensive End Starter
Sam Tevi primary: Left Tackle Starter
Jerry Tillery primary: Defensive End Starter
Mike Williams primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Trai Turner primary: Right Guard Starter
Stephen Anderson primary: Tight End Starter
Bryan Bulaga primary: Right Tackle Starter
Chris Harris Jr. primary: Cornerback Starter
Linval Joseph primary: Nose Tackle Starter
Donald Parham Jr. primary: Tight End Starter
Justin Herbert primary: Quarterback Starter
Kenneth Murray Jr. primary: Linebacker Starter
Michael Badgley primary: Kicker Substitution
Cortez Broughton primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Emeke Egbule primary: Linebacker Substitution
Brandon Facyson primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Justin Jackson primary: Runningback Substitution
Tyron Johnson primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Ty Long primary: Kicker Substitution
Cole Mazza primary: Long Snapper Substitution
Scott Quessenberry primary: Center Substitution
Tevaughn Campbell primary: Cornerback Substitution
Cole Toner primary: Center Substitution
Nick Vigil primary: Linebacker Substitution
Storm Norton primary: Offensive Tackle Substitution
Joe Reed primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Alohi Gilman primary: Safety Substitution
KJ Hill Jr. primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Joe Gaziano primary: Defensive End Substitution
Jessie Lemonier primary: Defensive End Substitution
Gabe Nabers primary: Fullback Substitution
Damion Square primary: Nose Tackle Substitution
Malik Jefferson primary: Linebacker Substitution
Jahleel Addae primary: Safety Substitution
B.J. Bello primary: Linebacker Substitution
Kalen Ballage primary: Runningback Substitution
Matt Sokol primary: Tight End Substitution
Keenan Allen primary: Wide Receiver Not active
Joey Bosa primary: Defensive End Not active
Trey Pipkins III primary: Offensive Tackle Not active
Easton Stick primary: Quarterback Not active
Tyrod Taylor primary: Quarterback Did not play
Tyree St. Louis primary: Guard Not active
Joshua Kelley primary: Runningback Not active

Denver Broncos

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Match Start
  • Period 1
  • MIN 12
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 37 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Michael Badgley
  • Period 2
  • MIN 2
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 43 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Michael Badgley
  • MIN 8
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 9 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: Austin Ekeler
    • Conv Kicker: Michael Badgley
    • Passer: Justin Herbert
  • Period 3
  • MIN 5
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 30 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Brandon McManus
  • Period 4
  • MIN 0
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 37 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Michael Badgley
  • MIN 2
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 52 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Brandon McManus
  • MIN 6
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 1 Yards
    • Rusher: Drew Lock
    • Conv Kicker: Brandon McManus
  • MIN 11
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 50 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Brandon McManus
  • MIN 14
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 25 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Michael Badgley
  • Match End

GAMES

Last 10

W 30% L 70%
3 7
  • Las Vegas L 32 - 31
  • @L.A. Chargers L 16 - 19
  • Buffalo L 48 - 19
  • @Carolina W 32 - 27
  • @Kansas City L 16 - 22
  • New Orleans L 31 - 3
  • Miami W 13 - 20
  • @Las Vegas L 12 - 37
  • @Atlanta L 27 - 34
  • L.A. Chargers W 30 - 31
W 50% L 50%
5 5
  • @Kansas City W 38 - 21
  • Denver W 16 - 19
  • @Las Vegas W 30 - 27
  • Atlanta W 17 - 20
  • New England L 45 - 0
  • @Buffalo L 17 - 27
  • N.Y. Jets W 28 - 34
  • @Miami L 21 - 29
  • Las Vegas L 31 - 26
  • @Denver L 30 - 31

Last Meetings

  • Broncos @ Chargers 16-19
  • Chargers @ Broncos 30-31
  • Chargers @ Broncos 20-23
  • Broncos @ Chargers 20-13
  • Chargers @ Broncos 23-9
  • Broncos @ Chargers 23-22
  • Broncos @ Chargers 0-21
  • Chargers @ Broncos 21-24
  • Chargers @ Broncos 19-27
  • Broncos @ Chargers 13-21

American Football Conference

AFC EastWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Buffalo Bills133 0.8130.00.00.0 7-16-29-0-1
Miami Dolphins106 0.6253.00.00.0 5-35-37-0-3
New England Patriots79 0.4386.00.00.0 5-32-65-0-5
New York Jets214 0.12511.00.00.0 1-71-72-0-8
AFC NorthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Pittsburgh Steelers124 0.7500.00.00.0 7-15-36-0-4
Baltimore Ravens115 0.6881.00.00.0 5-36-26-0-4
Cleveland Browns115 0.6881.00.00.0 6-25-37-0-3
Cincinnati Bengals411 1.2677.50.00.0 3-51-63-1-7
AFC SouthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Indianapolis Colts115 0.6880.00.00.0 6-25-37-0-3
Tennessee Titans115 0.6880.00.00.0 5-36-26-0-4
Houston Texans412 0.2507.00.00.0 2-62-63-0-7
Jacksonville Jaguars115 0.06310.00.00.0 1-70-81-0-10
AFC WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Kansas City Chiefs142 0.8750.00.00.0 6-28-09-0-1
Las Vegas Raiders88 0.5006.00.00.0 2-66-25-0-5
Los Angeles Chargers79 0.4387.00.00.0 4-43-55-0-5
Denver Broncos511 0.3139.00.00.0 2-63-53-0-7

National Football Conference

NFC EastWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Washington Football Team79 0.4380.00.00.0 3-54-46-0-4
Dallas Cowboys610 0.3751.00.00.0 4-42-64-0-6
New York Giants610 0.3751.00.00.0 3-53-55-0-5
Philadelphia Eagles411 1.2672.50.00.0 3-41-73-1-7
NFC NorthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Green Bay Packers133 0.8130.00.00.0 7-16-28-0-2
Chicago Bears88 0.5005.00.00.0 3-55-33-0-7
Minnesota Vikings79 0.4386.00.00.0 3-54-46-0-4
Detroit Lions511 0.3138.00.00.0 1-74-42-0-8
NFC SouthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
New Orleans Saints124 0.7500.00.00.0 6-26-28-0-2
Tampa Bay Buccaneers115 0.6881.00.00.0 5-36-27-0-3
Carolina Panthers511 0.3137.00.00.0 2-63-52-0-8
Atlanta Falcons412 0.2508.00.00.0 2-62-63-0-7
NFC WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Seattle Seahawks124 0.7500.00.00.0 7-15-37-0-3
Los Angeles Rams106 0.6252.00.00.0 6-24-46-0-4
Arizona Cardinals88 0.5004.00.00.0 4-44-44-0-6
San Francisco 49ers610 0.3756.00.00.0 1-75-33-0-7

Last Injuries