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Offense Shoulders Blame for Loss
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Melvin Gordon became the first running back in 22 games to rush for over 100 yards against the Denver Broncos.
Philip Rivers was the first quarterback to throw two touchdown passes against the defending Super Bowl champions this season.
The Chargers even had a 98-yard touchdown drive against the number one defense in the league, which was the Bolts’ longest since the 2011 season.
“Our defense kept us in the game and our defense deserves a heck of a lot of credit,” Rivers said. “Our offense just couldn’t ever get over the hump. We had two really good drives, the first drive of the game and the 98-yard drive. Other than that, we couldn’t sustain anything.”
“Absolutely, we are to (blame),” Matt Slauson bluntly said. “That was our most frustrating game all season. The defense gave us shots all game, but we didn’t do our job. We had our moments. Melvin (Gordon) ran his tail off. To me, that was his best game all season the way he ran. We had our struggles and couldn’t take advantage when the defense put us in good situations.”
Slauson is referring to the first half, when the defense had four straight three-and-outs after Antonio Gates gave the Bolts the lead on San Diego’s first drive of the game. Unfortunately, the offense wasn’t able to do anything with the short field position, punting three times in a row before Bradley Roby’s 49-yard pick-six.
“Our defense played phenomenal,” Melvin Gordon said. “We came out slow as an offense, and we gave them some points (to the defense). As a group, we should have been better. We started out slow, tried to fight back, but just couldn’t make enough plays at the end.”
Roby’s interception was the first of three on the day for Rivers. The first two led directly to touchdowns, while the defense bailed the offense out with their second red zone turnover of the day early in the second half. Still, the quarterback lamented gifting the Broncos 14 points.
The offense was also frustrated by their inability to find the end zone late in the game from the Denver two-yard line. Down eight with 2:54 remaining, all four of Rivers’ attempts fell incomplete as the Bolts turned the ball over on downs.
“After the fact, you go, ‘Shoot, maybe we should have ran it once or twice down there,’” Rivers said. “But when you’re going in the heat of it, you feel like you got a chance to throw and for us to score. Really the third down miss to (Antonio) Gates is the one I’m still sick about. They brought the same coverage four-straight plays (and) you’re going to have an unblocked defender every time. I was trying to lay that corner route to Gates like I’ve done, and I just missed him.” Read