DENVER — The Broncos struggled mightily on offense for the better part of three quarters on Sunday against the Chargers.
They turned it on when it mattered most.
After falling behind 24-3 to begin the second half in their Week 8 battle against a division rival, Denver stormed back to earn a 31-30 win over Los Angeles. Drew Lock led the Broncos on a 81-yard game-winning drive in just over two minutes to end the game and capped the win with a 1-yard pass to KJ Hamler with no time left on the clock.
The 21-point comeback is the largest deficit the Broncos have overcome since they stormed back from a 24-point deficit against the Chargers in 2012. Denver has won three consecutive games against the Chargers, which is their largest win streak against an AFC West rival since beating the Chargers five straight times from 2013-15.
Behind touchdowns on four of its final five drives, the Broncos earned a memorable comeback win that improves the team’s record to 3-4.
The Broncos needed plenty of plays in Sunday’s comeback win — including an interception from Bryce Callahan, touchdowns from Albert Okwuegbunam, DaeSean Hamilton and KJ Hamler, the defense holding the Chargers to field goals instead of touchdowns — but the tide began to turn on Phillip Lindsay’s 55-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter. The score, which was the second-longest touchdown of Lindsay’s three-year career, cut the Chargers’ lead to 14 points and gave Denver a chance going into the fourth quarter. The Broncos took advantage as they made the needed defensive stops to secure a 31-30 win. The Broncos had just three first downs in the game before Lindsay’s run, but the play helped the offense wake up as they scored 28 points after halftime.
The Broncos won the turnover battle for just the second time this season, and that ensured they were able to earn a win. The first takeaway — a Justin Simmons interception — led directly to three points for Denver. The second interception, which came late in the third quarter after Drew Lock threw an interception for the Broncos, then saved at least three more points for the Broncos. Bryce Callahan picked off Herbert in the end zone while in coverage on Mike Williams, and the Broncos survived a Chargers drive that started at the Denver 24-yard line.
Justin Simmons set up the Broncos’ opening score — which gave them their only lead until the end of the game — with an interception of Justin Herbert. Simmons weaved his way down the field after his second interception of the season and posted a 46-yard return. Bryce Callahan’s interception, Albert Okwuegbunam’s touchdown and DaeSean Hamilton’s catch and run challenge for this spot as well, but Simmons opened the game in style and gets the nod.
Justin Simmons snagged his second pick of the season and helped set up the Broncos’ first score of the game.
Phillip Lindsay rushed for 83 yards on six carries, including a 55-yard touchdown.
Jerry Jeudy posted the best stat line of his young career as he caught four passes for 73 yards.
DaeSean Hamilton caught a 40-yard touchdown, his first score of the season. He also had a crucial 14-yard catch on the Broncos’ final drive.
Bradley Chubb posted a sack, which raised his total to 5.5 on the season and marked the fourth consecutive game that he recorded a sack.
KJ Hamler caught the game-winning touchdown with no time remaining. It was the first score of his career.