The 5 plays that led to the Broncos loss to the Chargers

The 5 plays that led to the Broncos loss to the Chargers
Posted at 9:32 PM, Oct 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-13 23:44:07-04

Less than a week after the Denver Broncos fell to the Atlanta Falcons, the team generated another in that column to the San Diego Chargers. 

The 21 to 13 loss gives the Chargers, led by Philip Rivers, only their second win of the season. Still, it was a division opponent against which the Broncos have a great record. 

The Broncos lost their second of the season, making their record 4-2, which isn't unsalvageable for a hungry team. 

They'll need to prove their hunger in the upcoming weeks, and will have their next opportunity against the Houston Texans -- a fateful match against ex-Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler. 

In order to get back on the horse, the Broncos will need to address these five shortcomings from the Chargers game: 

1.) First-drive scores.

The Chargers took their first score in for a touchdown almost effortlessly. It would be their only touchdown of the game, and it was a critical score.

An early score led to an establishment of pace and hunger for the win. The Broncos didn't appear hungry on the defensive end until the third quarter. 

2.) Negative runs. 

The Broncos had a surprising setback on Thursday Night Football's stage. Their run game didn't just disappoint, it digressed.

Several rushes went negative by C.J. Anderson. 

Granted, that can not be completely be based on Anderson. It can be placed on an offensive line missing starters.

The run defense? Not much better.  

3.) Turnovers. 

For the first time in a long time, the Broncos did not hand-over-hand win the turnover battle. Key issues held the offense back, but a turnover on a catch is almost unacceptable.

Jordan Taylor, granted an untested receiver, was stripped as he secured a pass from Trevor Siemian. The fumble was recovered by San Diego. 

In the fourth quarter, the Broncos did secure their second turnover.

4.) Missed opportunities. 

The Broncos put up three points on the board into the fourth quarter. That's recipe for losing a game, especially when your defense is not firing on all cylinders. 

The epitome of missed opportunities came when Brandon McManus missed a field goal opportunity, granted a 56-yard attempt. His longest is a 57-yard. 

5.) Silly penalties. 

Penalties are representative of a sloppy team, so the Broncos played sloppily. Crucial penalties helped lose the game. 

The most notable are a host of offensive holding calls, one of which (in the end zone) led to a safety, granting the Chargers a larger lead. 

Also of note, Derek Wolfe had a late hit on Rivers, Aqib Talib had a crucial pass interference call and the team also incurred an ugly unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Taylor's turnover.


Five negative points will leave some asking were there any bright spots in the ugly game? Sure there were. With Joe DeCamillis at the helm, his special teams were able to take risks and make some incredible plays. 

Between pinning the Chargers back several times, causing two turnovers on kicking plays and more, the special teams unit did its job in the game.


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