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Ten observations from the Broncos game...According to Hoyle

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Outcome aside, Jamie Hoyle believes plenty of positive, and even encouraging, developments come out of the Denver game. Having said that, you're probably better off not mentioning "1st and goal from the two" around Jamie for a while.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

We've all placed a great deal of focus on the four plays the Chargers offense ran from the Denver two yard line in the final 2:00 of the game, and with good reason, but I think it's time to move on and take a closer look at the rest of the game.  The truth is, as ugly and frustrating as the end of that game was, a number of very encouraging things had to happen in that game to give the Chargers the opportunity they so willingly pissed away in the final two minutes in Denver.

This is not to say we won't talk a little about the four most important plays of the Chargers season to date in this post, we just won't harp on it...too much.  With that in mind, let's talk what else happened Sunday in Denver...

Did DJ Fluker start to put it together on Sunday against the Broncos? While he didn't play a complete game, it was clear he settled in after half time and played a vital role in the Chargers running game.  The second-year right guard could be seen pulling on a regular basis an consistently helped to open gaping holes for Melvin Gordon...

For the first time in his Chargers career, Melvin Gordon was the primary catalyst for the Chargers offense.  Though he got off to a slow start (10 carries for 33 yards at half time), he kept chipping away at the Bronco's front seven until he was able to break off some big runs, winding up with 23 carries for 111 yards.  He also had a clutch 30-yard reception during the fourth quarter drive that helped set up first and goal from the two yard line...

Dontrelle Inman was another surprising offensive catalyst on a day when Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams and Antonio Gates struggled to get separation.  He made at least two key third down receptions on the most important possession of the game and even helped stretch the field when the Chargers needed it.  He may have earned himself a more meaningful role in the passing game with that performance...

I thought we started to see a shift in the Bolts offensive mentality on Sunday.  With the team down 17-7 mid-way through the third quarter and the tackles struggling in pass protection, offensive coordinator Ken Wisnehunt asked his massive offensive line to bully the smaller Denver front seven. They responded by leading the offense on a 98 yard third quarter drive to narrow the deficit to 17-13...

I still can't comprehend why the Chargers attempted four shotgun passes from the two yard line when almost every offense in the league would have run it a minimum of two times, if not all four.  And as if that weren't bad enough, they struggled with getting the plays and protections called, as well as getting the ball snapped on time on three of the four downs and refused to call a time out.  Most coaches at least have 15-20 plays they like to run inside the five; the Chargers couldn't even get the plays in...

Joey Bosa makes everyone better. He does it with the attention he draws, his ability to make plays, and, in some cases, with his mere presence on the field.  Oh, almost forgot...I told you so...there, I said it...

Bosa and Melvin Ingram are quickly becoming a handful for opposing offensive lines.  Whether they line up on the same side of the line, or on opposite sides, both edge rushers are living in opposing backfields, harassing quarterbacks and blowing up running plays.  They seem to be racing each other to the quarterback at times, and every member of the defensive line is clearly feeding off of it...

Tenny Palepoi may not always show up on the stat sheet, but he constantly shows up on tape as someone who provides value as both a run defender and a pass rusher.  His best work has come when lined up as a 3-technique next to Joey Bosa's 9-technique and he continues to respond to increased snap counts. I'd argue he has outplayed Corey Luiget of late and more of Tenny is most definitely a good thing...

After a tough week in Atlanta, Jatavis Brown was once again all over the field against Denver.  He had 10 total tackles, 7 assists, a pass break-up, and a fumble recovery on Sunday and played a key role against the run.  This kid is a player and it's going to be fun watching his growth in the middle of this defense...

Do you realize the Chargers had a legitimate shote at forcing seven turnovers on Sunday?  Just to put that number into its proper context, the Chargers entered Sunday having forced 12 turnovers for the season, and they increased that total by 58.33% in one game. That's nothing short of remarkable and right now, I see no reason to believe that isn't a sign of what's to come...

Well, that's it; those are my thoughts on the Denver game.

As disappointing as the outcome of the game was, the continued development of the young defensive core is extremely encouraging and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that McCoy and Wisenhunt learned a little something about the value of sticking with the running game in a close game.

At the very least, we can safely assume the Bolts will ram the ball down their opponent's throat the next time they're faced with a first and goal from the 2 with 3:00 to go in an 8-point game.  And if not, I'll lead the lynch mob as long as you bring the torches...