The Denver Broncos (2-3) are on the road on Monday Night Football to take on their AFC West rival Los Angeles Chargers (3-2). A win by either team will keep them within striking distance of the AFC West leading Kansas City Chiefs.
4:55 PM MT: Albert Okwuegbunam was a surprise healthy scratch for tonight’s game. With rookie Greg Dulcich back from IR, it appears the doghouse for Albert O is getting a little more extreme.
6:14 PM MT: Denver won the opening coin toss and deferred possession to the second half. Not sure if it would matter either way. The offense hasn’t done much at the beginning or end of either half.
6:33 PM MT: Russell Wilson and the Broncos offense overcame two early penalties by Lloyd Cushenberry and Cam Fleming to drive down the field for the first score of the game. Brandon McManus would kick a 51-yard field goal to give Denver an early 3-0 lead.
6:45 PM MT: After getting the ball back the Broncos would get back to back big plays to got up 10-0 over the Chargers. The first was a 37-yard pass to Jerry Jeudy on third and long, then Wilson found rookie Greg Dulcich open for a 39-yard touchdown pass.
7:02 PM MT: Justin Herbert and the Chargers responded with a 15-play, 82-yard drive of their own that was capped by a 6-yard touchdown run by Austin Ekeler to cut the lead back to a field goal at 10-7.
7:19 PM MT: The Broncos announced that DL Dre’Mont Jones would be questionable to return to the game with a neck injury. He was back in the game after just a few plays.
7:27 PM MT: With about a minute to go in the half, the Chargers were able to tie things up 10-10 apiece. They had their hopes for a touchdown dashed on back-to-back plays by Baron Browning. First, he sacked Justin Herbert then deflected his third down pass.
7:31 PM MT: Getting the ball back with just 53 seconds in the half was all Wilson and the Broncos needed. Wilson connected with KJ Hamler on a 47-yard bomb that ultimately led to points and a 13-10 halftime lead for Denver at halftime. Full second quarter recap.
8:02 PM MT: The Chargers marched right down the field on their opening second half possession, but Denver’s defense stiffened in the red zone to force another field goal attempt. Los Angeles would tie things up at 13 midway through the third quarter.
8:23 PM MT: Denver’s third quarter woes continued through this game. They scored zero, while the Chargers scored on their first possession and are in field goal range to start the fourth quarter on their second. Full third quarter recap.
8:26 PM MT: Beleaguered rookie cornerback Damarri Mathis had three defensive pass interference calls against him in this game, but he never let up. He came up big on fourth down to break up a pass to get Denver the ball back.
The 2022 regular season is still relatively young, but for the Broncos they already have their backs against a wall in the AFC West. They lost to the Las Vegas Raiders two weeks ago and if they lose again tonight to the Chargers then all could be lost. Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett noted that winning division games is important, but the focus now is just getting a win period.
“For us, we are 0-1 right now in the West,” Hackett said last week. “The past is the past right now. We have to find a way to win a football game. It happens to be a West opponent which makes it more exciting because it’s a rivalry. It’s a very good football team. We have to get out there and we have to get after it. “
All the narratives that have been building around this Broncos’ team through five games could be destroyed by a strong performance and a win against a playoff-caliber team like the Justin Herbert-led Chargers.
Kickoff is set for 6:15 pm Mile High time on Monday, October 17, 2022 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. You can watch the live stream of the game through FuboTV or on NBC.
In partnership with DraftKings Sportsbook, I am covering all my picks this year on TallySight. Our staff is fairly confident the Broncos will lay another egg in this game as all but myself predicted a loss to the Chargers tonight. I was the lone optimist who thinks the Broncos can actually win this game.