The defense dominated Trevor Siemian as Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram played like superstars. However, the offense looked lost. Philip Rivers and company were unable to seal the deal until midway through the fourth quarter.
Benjamin’s 65-yard punt return touchdown was the team’s first since 2012. With four career punt return touchdowns, Benjamin has the ability to be a difference maker in the return game. Sadly, he has been ultra-conservative so far with the Bolts. Hopefully, this will give the speedy wideout some confidence.
Benjamin also sealed the game with a fantastic 42-yard touchdown reception. He was signed to be a game breaker, he was exactly that.
Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, and Chris McCain
Talk about devastation.
Both Bosa and Ingram dominated Denver’s tackles. Siemian was rattled by the amount of pressure the Chargers rushers were creating. The duo combined for three sacks and four tackles for loss. There isn’t a better pair in the NFL; Ingram and Bosa can make life on any quarterback tough.
It’s impossible to forget about McCain. The third edge rusher also had a pair of sacks and forced two fumbles. Siemian looked bad, but he had no chance against this defensive line.
Get Hunter Henry the football as much as possible. While the rest of the offense looked inept, Henry had a great day. He caught four passes for 73 yards. He did have one bad drop, but he converted a few key third downs.
In his second season, Kaser has been fantastic. He has a tremendous leg and is able to swap field position with ease. He was on fire against Denver as he pinned the Broncos inside their own one and connected on multiple 60-yard punts. It was an underrated part of the game that put the Los Angeles defense in positions to succeed.
For the most part, Los Angeles’ offense was nowhere to be found on Sunday. Thankfully, Ekeler gave the Chargers a spark. On one of their better drives, the Chargers utilized Henry and Ekeler on their way to a touchdown. Ekeler ended his afternoon with 44 total yards and a touchdown.
While Ekeler found a few lanes on the ground, Gordon floundered. He managed only 38 yards on 18 carries and was a non-factor as a receiver. His rushing numbers would have looked even worse if it wasn’t for a 21-yard gain late in the final period. The former first-round pick seems to be hit-or-miss thus far, his performance against the Broncos was a big miss.
The Offensive Line
The Chargers offensive line hasn’t been a complete disaster this season, but they had a bad day today. The Broncos have a tremendous defense and the Chargers were overmatched up front. There wasn’t much room to run and Rivers was flushed out of the pocket far too often.
Inability to Capitalize Off Turnovers
With the way the Broncos played today, this game should have been over by halftime. The Los Angeles defense forced three turnovers and the Bolts were able to capitalize on only one of them. The defense was able to dominate for the entire game but there is plenty of work to do on offense.
Not only did the Chargers not take advantage over multiple takeaways, they failed to do anything after having great field position all night. This was a massive win, but the Bolts could have won by 30 points.
Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams, and Mike Williams were no-shows against the Broncos. Yes, Benjamin had a great catch to seal the game, but no wideout was able to become a big play threat. Denver has a talented secondary, but seeing all of these guys shutdown is concerning. Look for them to bounce back against a bad New England defense.
Inability to Catch a Football on Defense
Alright, Casey Hayward did come up with a big interception in the fourth quarter, but Jatavis Brown and Jahleel Addae dropped a pair of easy picks. Thankfully, the defense was able to recover after the missed opportunities, but the game could’ve been over much sooner. If Los Angeles drops a possible Tom Brady pick, that might be the difference next Sunday.