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Three Plays in a Row Turn Tide Against Chargers
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The Chargers were down by just three points, 10-7, just before the two minute warning to end the first half. They faced a 3rd-and-4, and that’s where the game took a turn for the worst.
Philip Rivers was sacked for a loss of 13 yards. Then, Mike Scifres punt was blocked by Nate Irving, giving Denver the ball at the Chargers’ 31-yard line. On the very next play, Peyton Manning found Brandon Stokley in the back of the end zone to give the Broncos a 17-7 lead heading into halftime.
“That was rough,” said Rivers. “Those were game changing plays.”
With the offense struggling to get any momentum, the tide turning series of events proved to be the turning point of the game. Afterwards, Antonio Gates expressed how those same mistakes keep occurring for the Bolts, leading to similar results week after week.
“It was tough,” he said of the trio of plays. “Just being here, we know that it’s definitely a tough place to get a win. Just putting them in a position where they have a lead and they have an edge and change of field position, that’s all part of winning football games. We allowed them to change field position. We allowed them to have sack-fumbles. We turned the ball over. And I’m saying the same thing every week. It’s so cliché about turning the football over, but it still holds to be true since I started playing sports in general. If you turn the football over, it’s a strong possibility you may not win the game.”
Head coach Norv Turner admitted the series of events played a large role in the team’s undoing, especially the blocked punt.
“That’s really hard for me because we’ve improved so much (on special teams), and it just shows you, you don’t take anything for granted,” he said. “Look at the plays we had against us. We’ve blocked it many times. For some reason, the last two weeks we’ve come up short. We’ve got to fix it and fix it fast.”
Special teams captain Darrell Stuckey addressed the blocked punt in the locker room, and he too explained how it was a momentum turning blunder.
“It’s never positive to have a mistake, and something like that is never good regardless of when it comes in the game,” he said. “When you have something like that happen, it’s never a good thing. It was a bad time for that to happen. It’s one of those things where we can’t let little things like that to creep in because it puts the team in bad situations. It put our backs against the wall.” Read