DENVER – The Broncos were dominating.
Until they weren’t.
For most of Monday’s 24-21 victory over the Chargers, the Broncos were in utter control. Philip Rivers was on the run. Trevor Siemian was poking holes in the Chargers defense. C.J. Anderson was strong and elusive.
Mistakes utterly changed the tone in the fourth quarter. A Chargers interception and a fumble by Jamaal Charles opened the door for Rivers and the men from Los Angeles.
The Broncos almost gave this one away. The Broncos can't, and won't, count on field goal kickers missing chip shots the rest of the season.
Three things to remember:
One – Siemian’s poise and accuracy
After months of enduring a quarterback controversy, Siemian looked the part of a starting quarterback. He was accurate. He was calm in the pocket. And he was finding virtually everyone. Who would have thought Bennie Fowler would emerge as a serious threat?
Two – Anderson’s power and elusiveness
On the Broncos first possession, Anderson pulverized Chargers inside linebacker Korey Toomer with a well-aimed and vicious straight arm. Later, he wasted Jason Verrett with a fake. Anderson has struggled with injury for most of his Bronco career.
He looked fully healthy on Monday.
Three – The defense is powerful, again
After three quarters, Rivers had thrown for only 60 yards. He’s one of the great passers in NFL history, but he looked helpless against Denver’s defense.
Rivers seized control of the fourth quarter. That’s true.
But Bronco defenders dominated most of the night.