On Sunday the Denver Broncos hosted divisional foe, the Los Angeles Chargers in Denver and to be honest, it appeared that another blowout loss was in store for Broncos fans.
Sunday’s game truly was a tale of two halves for the Broncos’ offense. Denver’s offensive woes were apparent in last week’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs when the Broncos lost 43-16. This week, quarterback Drew Lock’s future as Denver’s lead guy was on the line and after a dreary start, many fans and critics were counting down the minutes until Coach Fangio made the switch at quarterback. Drew Lock on the other hand had other plans, ones which including his time behind center lasting until the last second of the game.
Denver’s defense came up big early with free safety Justin Simmons’ interception that led to Denver’s kicker Brandon McManus scoring Denver’s first three points of the game. Denver wouldn’t score again until the hometown kid Phillip Lindsay scored Denver’s first touchdown (TD) with 6:15 to play in the third quarter. Lindsay’s 55-yard trot into the end zone gave Denver a spark that eventually led to three successful drives in the fourth quarter, all resulting in touchdowns.
The first came three minutes into the fourth quarter on a 9 yard short pass to tight-end (TE) Albert Okwegbunam. Lock’s second TD pass came halfway through the fourth quarter, when he found wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton on a crossing pattern in stride for a 40-yard pass and catch TD bringing the Broncos to within three (27-24) after the extra point. Lock’s game winning TD came after a defensive player, pass interference call in the back of the end zone on fourth and four. Denver lined up at the one-yard-line as Lock rolled to the right in stride with rookie wide receiver, K.J. Hamler freezing the defender who committed to Lock freeing up Hamler for the game winning catch.
Lock had this to say about his Jekyll and Hyde half’s, “If you look at it, I got to play in the first game against the Titans, I played a couple of drives in Pittsburgh. [QB] Jeff [Driskel] came in, [QB] Brett [Rypien] came in, we went to New England, then played Kansas City. We’ve had three full games with this offense in normal personnel – we lost our guard again – maybe we’re just starting to click. Maybe people had opinions on us based on six games with three different quarterback, multiple O-lines, guys on defense getting knocked out. I just think people love to make opinions and jump to them quick and I hope that we can keep proving them wrong.”
Lock’s late game performance boosted his QB rating to 94.4 and temporarily hushed bandwagon fans and critics alike. The Broncos travel to Atlanta next Sunday to face a 2-6 struggling Falcons team who are coming off a win over the Carolina Panthers. The Broncos have a chance to gain ground on the Las Vegas Raiders with a win on Sunday.