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Running Recap: Chargers Fall to Broncos, 27-19

The San Diego Chargers fell to the Denver Broncos, 27-19.  The Broncos scored on their first possession with a 28-yard field goal from Brandon McManus to make it 3-0, Denver.  However, the score quickly became 7-3 after Philip Rivers connected with Antonio Gates for a touchdown.  The score was set up three plays prior by a 53-yard catch-and-run from Derek Watt.  While both offenses didn't do much into the second quarter, the defenses made their presences known.  The Broncos defense made it 10-7 after Bradley Roby took a tipped pass into the end zone.  The Chargers defense then made a huge play on third down from the San Diego seven as Melvin Ingram sacked and stripped Trevor Siemian.  Tenny Palepoi recovered the fumble with 4:37 left in the first half.  After the Chargers missed a field goal, the Broncos got to the San Diego 46 but turned the ball over on downs with 19 seconds left.  Yet on second down, Rivers was sacked and the Bolts walked into halftime down 10-7.

The start of the second half was plagued by turnovers.  On third down on their first possession, Rivers was intercepted. Two plays later, Devontae Booker ran the ball into the end zone to make it 17-7, Broncos.  The Bolts were picked off on their next drive, but two plays after that, Korey Toomer came in to dislodge the ball from Booker.  Jatavis Brown recovered the fumble to give possession back to the visitors.  After regaining possession at their own two-yard line, the Bolts went 98 yards in 13 plays to make it 17-13 after a touchdown from Rivers to Travis Benjamin and a missed extra point by Josh Lambo.  Denver's ensuing drive was capped off by a one-yard touchdown from Juwan Thompson to make it 24-13.  Casey Hayward made a big play at the right time after taking a tipped pass into the end zone for the touchdown.  The Bolts' two-point conversion attempt was no good and the score stayed at 24-19.  The Broncos offense wasn't fazed by the pick six.  On their next drive, McManus capped off a six-play, 71-yard drive with a 22-yard field goal to increase his team's lead, 27-19.  The Chargers got down to the Denver two, but Rivers' fourth down pass was incomplete and the team turned it over on downs with 2:40 left in the game.  After the Broncos went three-and-out, the Chargers got another chance, however again, a fourth down pass fell incomplete and the Broncos ran the clock out to win.

IMPACT PLAYS

FIRST QUARTER

14:09 – Trevor Siemian tossed a short pass to Jordan Taylor, who took the pass down the left sideline for a gain of 35.

1:07 – Brandon McManus' 28-yard field goal was good to put the Broncos on the board first.

10:21 – With plenty of time on third down, Philip Rivers hit Travis Benjamin for a gain of 18.

9:46 – Rivers found a wide open Derek Watt who galloped up the right sideline for a gain of 53.

7:30 – On 3rd-and-goal, Rivers found Antonio Gates, who stretched across the goal line, for a seven-yard touchdown.

2:49 – Rivers was sacked by T.J. Ward for a loss of 10.

SECOND QUARTER

10:25 – The Broncos recovered a strip fumble, however after further review, the play was deemed an incomplete pass.  Since it happened on third down, the Chargers then had to punt.  On the ensuing punt, the Broncos were penalized with running into the kicker and the Chargers regained possession.

9:22 – After two penalties made it 1st-and-20, Rivers lobbed a pass in the direction of Tyrell Williams, however the pass was tipped off the receiver's hands and into the arms of Bradley Roby.  Roby then took the ball 49 yards into the end zone to make it 10-7.

6:44 – Evading a Joey Bosa pass rush, Siemian found Devontae Booker on third down for a gain of 12.

6:05 – Off play-action, Siemian hit Emmanuel Sanders down the right sideline for a gain of 37.

4:43 – On third down, Melvin Ingram sacked and stripped Siemian.  The ball was recovered by Tenny Palepoi at the San Diego 16.  Three plays later, Benjamin took a pass in for 12 yards to move the chains.

:59 – Joshua Lambo missed a 45-yard field goal to tie the game.

:19 – The Broncos' fourth down attempt was no good and Denver turned the ball over on downs.  Two plays later, Rivers was sacked and the half ended.

THIRD QUARTER

13:40 – On third down, Rivers' pass was tipped by Lorenzo Doss into the hands of safety Darian Stewart.  Stewart took the ball 25 yards to the San Diego 10.

12:50 – Booker took the handoff off left tackle for the touchdown.

12:40 – Rivers' pass fell right into the arms of Ward for the quarterback's third interception of the day.

11:52 – As Booker was taking a pass upfield, Korey Toomer came in to dislodge the ball.  Jatavis Brown recovered the fumble at the San Diego two.

8:38 – After gaining 15 on the previous play, Rivers connected with Dontrelle Inman again for a gain of 37.

4:09 – Benjamin made a leaping, one-handed grab in the end zone for a touchdown.  Lambo's extra point was blocked to make it 17-13, Denver.

FOURTH QUARTER

14:02 – Needing one yard on third down, Booker rushed for 18 to take the ball to the San Diego eight.

12:38 – Juwan Thompson took the handoff for a one-yard touchdown.

11:53 – Melvin Gordon broke through the line for a tough run good for 20 yards.

10:28 – On 3rd-and-9, Rivers was sacked by Justin Simmons for a loss of nine.

9:12 – In his own end zone, Siemian tossed a pass to Demaryius Thomas good for 14.

8:10 – Casey Hayward took a tipped pass into the end zone for the touchdown.  The team's two-point conversion attempt was no good and the Chargers trailed 24-19.

8:02 – Virgil Green gained 31 on first down.  On the next play, Thomas caught a 40-yard pass to take the ball to the San Diego four.

5:24 – McManus kicked a 22-yard field goal to increase his team's lead.

5:14 – Inman gained 16 on 2nd-and-15 to move the chains.  On the next play, Gordon took a pass down the left sideline for a gain of 30.

4:31 – Gordon rushed up the middle to gain 17 and go over 100 yards on the day.  

2:40 – On 4th-and-goal from the Denver two, Rivers' pass was batted down and the Bolts turned it over on downs.

2:00 – Gordon took a pass from Rivers to the Chargers 46.

1:16 – On 4th-and-9, Rivers' pass fell incomplete and the Broncos ran out the clock for the win.

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