The Denver Broncos got a huge road win against the Los Angeles Chargers, one that was capped off by Brandon McManus’ game-winning kick.
Just two weeks after missing a possible game-winning kick against the Houston Texans, Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus was vindicated.
In Sunday’s 23-22 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, McManus nailed a 34-yard field goal as time expired to give the Broncos their fourth victory of the season (4-6).
This game was a very interesting one from start to finish, and as has been typical in three of the Broncos’ four victories this season, not everything went right. Some of what happened in this game was out of Denver’s control, but the Broncos won in two very important areas (other than the final score) that allowed them to get this victory.
Winning the turnover battle
The Broncos had no turnovers in this game, and the broadcast crew of Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts noted that they had 12 straight games with at least one turnover. That’s absolutely terrible.
The fact that the Broncos were able to come away from this road game without any turnovers is remarkable considering how effective the Chargers have been at forcing turnovers this season, and the fact that they also got Joey Bosa back in this game.
The Broncos forced two turnovers in this game picking off two of Philip Rivers’ passes. One interception came from Chris Harris Jr., who now has four career interceptions off of Rivers.
The other came from Von Miller who stepped in front of a screen pass and nearly took the interception back for six points.
As good as the Chargers were offensively converting on third downs for most of this game, turnovers may have eliminated the Broncos’ chances of winning.
No sacks allowed
Heading into this game against the Chargers, one of the major storylines for the Broncos was the fact that they had a patchwork offensive line, to say the least.
Garett Bolles at left tackle and Jared Veldheer at right tackle were the only two starters in their original opening day positions with Billy Turner, Connor McGovern, and Elijah Wilkinson at the interior spots.
The offensive line didn’t allow any sacks in this game, though Keenum didn’t stay completely clean in the game. Their job was to make sure the quarterback had as much time as possible, and for the most part, Keenum had time in the pocket to make throws and quick, accurate decisions.
Not allowing a sack in this game was absolutely critical, especially on the final drive of the game.
Miller makes history, Chubb chasing it
Von Miller made history becoming the fastest player in NFL history to reach 100 career sacks.
Miller continues to prove week in and week out that he is the best defensive player in football and one of the best to ever do it in general.
His partner on the other side of the field — rookie Bradley Chubb — keeps racking up the hits, pressures, and sacks.
Chubb notched the ninth sack of his rookie season, now just 5.5 sacks off the all-time rookie record since sacks became an official statistic. Former Titans first-round pick Jevon Kearse holds the record at 14.5.
There was something different (hopefully) about this win for the Broncos.
Though the road ahead is long, the Broncos’ win against the Chargers (winners of six straight before this game) felt like arguably the biggest in Vance Joseph’s time as head coach.
Joseph certainly wasn’t perfect in this game but this was a big win and the Broncos made plays when they had to in order to get the job done. They could have just as easily won the game the week prior.
As has been the case throughout the season, the Broncos victories have shown glimpses of what the team can build on but they have failed to put together much consistent play. They will try to keep things rolling after Thanksgiving against the Steelers in Denver.