Broncos vs. Chargers score, takeaways: Dustin Hopkins fights injury to hit walk-off FG, lift L.A. over Denver

It took nearly a complete additional quarter, however the Chargers edged their AFC West rival Broncos on Monday night time. Neither membership loved a lot good fortune with the ball of their palms below the lighting, with Justin Herbert scattershot whilst throwing just about 60 instances and Russell Wilson suffering to attach downfield after arguably his highest opening to a recreation with Denver. In the top, on the other hand, Brandon Staley’s squad were given the most efficient of Nathaniel Hackett’s, with a fumble restoration on a muffed punt past due in additional time giving Los Angeles the ball deep in Broncos territory. Kicker Dustin Hopkins sealed the deal, hitting a 39-yard walk-off box purpose within the Chargers’ 19-16 victory, even after having a look to worsen an injury on his first kick of the night time.

Both groups entered the prime-time affair with primary query marks. Denver had struggled mightily to identify offensive rhythm in spite of the much-anticipated Wilson-Hackett team-up, shedding big name operating again Javonte Williams to a season-ending injury in Week 4. The problems gave the impression to die down early in Monday’s recreation, with Wilson beginning 10-for-10, handiest to resurface in a while.

The Chargers, in the meantime, had failed to check in a gentle defensive appearing in spite of Staley hailing from that facet of the ball. Their efforts have been stepped forward towards Denver, even with go rusher Joey Bosa sidelined due to injury and prized offseason addition J.C. Jackson benched at halftime after surrendering a number of deep pictures from Wilson.

Here are some further takeaways from Monday night time’s AFC West showdown:

Why the Chargers received

Dustin Hopkins. OK, so there was once extra to it than that, however no person merits extra credit score than the veteran kicker, who overlooked Week 5 with a hamstring injury, annoyed that injury on his first additional level of the night time, then proceeded to cross 4-for-4 on box targets, together with the 39-yarder to give the Chargers’ their first and ultimate lead. He was once obviously in ache, however he delivered.

Justin Herbert warrants reward for buying Hopkins relatively shut at the ultimate sequence, even though the quarterback was once altogether extra erratic and indecisive than standard, running on an it seems that conservative recreation plan and with out a number of key starters, particularly receiver Keenan Allen and heart Corey Linsley. Austin Ekeler, even though bottled up for far of the night time, a minimum of served as a gentle outlet, logging 10 catches to lend a hand transfer the ball in dinks and dunks.

The protection was once even higher, handing over possibly its maximum spectacular trip of the yr, albeit towards a Broncos group that is confirmed to be caught within the dust. The unit totaled seven tackles for loss whilst drilling Wilson on a couple of key downs, with linebacker Drue Tranquill blazing in untouched on a fourth-quarter blitz to power a punt. Special groups additionally got here thru, with Ja’Sir Taylor well forcing Broncos particular teamer P.J. Locke into his personal go back guy, Montrell Washington; the play compelled a fumble that arrange the Chargers’ ultimate pressure in Denver territory.

Why the Broncos misplaced

It’ll be simple to pin this one on Washington, the rookie returner, failing to protected the fair-catch punt past due in additional time, however someone who watched from get started to end is aware of this “L” — par for the path — stemmed simply as a lot, if no longer extra, from Hackett’s offense. Wilson regarded essentially the most relaxed he is been all yr out of the gate, taking pictures downfield whilst at the transfer, however the deep balls to Okay.J. Hamler — or someone, for that topic — have been short-lived. In between 10 consequences, Denver went a paltry 4 for 14 on 3rd downs, failing to get both Courtland Sutton or Jerry Jeudy concerned when it mattered. It did not lend a hand that Wilson both had little time to throw or held the ball a marginally too lengthy past due within the contest, or that Hackett moderately deployed Mike Boone, apparently essentially the most dynamic of the backs left to fill in for Javonte Williams.

It’s a disgrace Denver as soon as once more could not transfer the ball and/or end drives after the promising get started, for the reason that group’s protection threatened to win the sport itself. With six of their very own tackles for loss, 9 go deflections and a stud efficiency from big name cornerback Patrick Surtain II, who successfully erased Mike Williams from Herbert’s imaginative and prescient, the Denver “D” may handiest watch as time ticked on and its personal offense could not put issues at the board.

Turning level

Undoubtedly it was once when Ja’Sir Taylor blocked his guy into Montrell Washington at the OT punt go back. But you may also say it was once when Herbert shifted outdoor of the pocket to ship a nine-yard strike to Mike Williams that arrange Hopkins’ 39-yard game-winner. Herbert, once more, didn’t have a lovely night time, particularly throwing into site visitors with simply over 10 mins left in legislation and getting picked off by means of Baron Browning. But he was once heading in the right direction within the waning mins of OT, and that is the reason all that mattered.

Play of the sport

It’s Taylor once more. Give the particular teamer some credit score! Had officers reviewed considered one of Mike Williams’ few downfield goals, wherein he laid out and got here shut to getting two toes in bounds whilst going to the bottom, that may’ve been the spotlight of the night time. But Taylor’s consciousness to necessarily block a Broncos participant right into a muffed punt was once key.

What’s subsequent

The Broncos (2-4) will go back house in Week 7 for a matchup with the red-hot Jets (4-2), who disillusioned the Packers in Green Bay on Sunday. The Chargers (4-2), in the meantime, will keep in Los Angeles to host the Seahawks (3-3), who beat the rival Cardinals to keep tied atop the NFC West.


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