DENVER — The Broncos dominated the Chargers Sunday, winning 28-13 thanks to an impressive performance from quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and several rookies, including first-round pick cornerback Pat Surtain II.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Bridgewater guts it out
Bridgewater returned to Sunday's game after suffering a lower-leg injury in the first quarter. Backup Drew Lock replaced Bridgewater and played the entire second quarter, but after going 4 of 7 for 26 yards and an interception, Lock was replaced by a clearly limited Bridgewater to start the second half.
Still, Bridgewater was phenomenal down the stretch for the Broncos, most notably throwing a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Eric Saubert on a play in which Bridgewater stiff-armed Chargers star defensive end Joey Bosa before completing the pass. Bridgewater finished the day 11 of 18 for 129 yards and one touchdown, plus another score on the ground.
Defensive rookies shine
The Broncos had four rookies play meaningful time on defense Sunday, with Surtain II (first round), inside linebacker Baron Browning (third round) and safety Caden Sterns (fifth round) all starting, and outside linebacker Jonathon Cooper (seventh round) rotating in.
Surtain came up with the plays of the day, intercepting Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert in the end zone in the fourth quarter and then later intercepting him again, returning this one 70 yards for a touchdown to seal the win. Browning also had a big day, totaling seven tackles.
Williams carries the load
Running back Javonte Williams also had a big day on offense, rushing 14 times for 53 yards and a touchdown and catching three passes for 57 yards.
Williams' biggest play of the game came in the fourth quarter when he turned a swing pass into a 42-yard gain that set the Broncos up with first and goal.