Report Card: Broncos vs. Chargers
By Jim Lyles
BRONCOS RUSH OFFENSE:
Running back Willis McGahee was certainly deserving of a game ball as he rushed for 117 yards on 23 carries. McGhee’s 24-yard jaunt late in the overtime session led directly to Matt Prater’s 37-yard game winning field goal. The Broncos rushing attack racked up 208 yards for the game on the ground. Tim Tebow chipped in 67 rushing yards on 22 carries. The Broncos offensive line put in a full day’s work opening up running lanes.
BRONCOS PASS OFFENSE:
Tebow’s accuracy improved as he completed half of his passes going 9-of-18 for 143 yards and a touchdown. Ironically, Tebow should have completed a higher percentage of passes, but a couple of Tebow’s well-thrown passes were dropped. Tebow did connect with Eric Decker on an 18-yard touchdown late in the second quarter. The Broncos offensive line surrendered one sack on the day, but the Broncos offensive line gave Tebow all day to survey the San Diego secondary on passing attempts. The Broncos offensive line’s pass protection was the instrumental reason for Tebow’s well deserved 95.4 quarterback rating for the game and improved accuracy.
BRONCOS RUN DEFENSE:
The Broncos front seven was a little porous yielding 185 yards on 36 attempts. The dam didn’t break however, as the Broncos front seven didn’t surrender any touchdowns on the ground.
BRONCOS PASS DEFENSE:
The Broncos pass pressure package contained Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers by batting down passes and forcing Rivers to rush his throws. The Broncos pass pressure schemes forced Rivers, a historically accurate passer, to become uncharacteristically erratic. Rivers went 19-of-36 on his attempts netting 159 yards passing. Rivers’ quarterback rating was 77.1, well below his typical day.
The menacing tandem of defensive end Elvis Dumervil (2.0) and linebacker Von Miller (1.0) recorded three sacks for the game.
The secondary was superb in pass coverage.
BRONCOS SPECIAL TEAMS:
The kick-off team did a nice job on kick returns averaging 26.5 yard on four returns. Eddie Royal averaged 15-yard per return on his four punt returns, a nice return average.
Britton Colquitt averaged 43.4 on nine punts. He didn’t match his counterpart on the Chargers Mike Scifres 51.3 yards on his six punts, but Colquitt didn’t hinder the Broncos field position in the punting exchanges.
Matt Prater was perfect on his PAT and three field goal attempts, but when you kick the game winner, you get bonus points.
OVERALL TEAM RATING:
The Broncos coaching continues to coach to the team’s strengths, while stripping the opposition of their strengths. If you are a passing team, the Broncos take away the pass and if you’re a running team, the Broncos take away the run. There can be nothing more demoralizing than diminishing what you believe you do best. Taking away your opponent’s prized jewel only works if players execute the game plan. The coaches are coaching and the players are executing.
It’s hard to win on the road and the Broncos did just that. This is the second week in a row that the Broncos have beaten a team looking to regain a second life. In winning yesterday’s war, the Broncos may have unplugged the Chargers for the season.
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