Broncos 13-34 Chargers summary: score, stats, highlights
Denver Broncos vs Los Angeles Chargers | Week 17
That is going to be it for our live coverage of the Los Angeles Chargers vs Denver Broncos game. Thank you for joining us and keep up with all NFL news and more here on AS English!
For the Chargers, this now takes them into the Wild Card hunt. Although not entirely in their own hands, they will make a strong case for themselves taking that number seven spot in the playoffs. They will still need to win next week, although with both the Ravens and Dolphins losing this week, the road to the postseason sure looks a lot easier.
With so many starters out, it was perhaps too much to ask that Denver seriously compete for this victory. Their defense showed strength but was maybe lacking in depth, being ground down over the course of the game. Drew Lock made a very good showing and gained a lot of kudos for toughness, but there was no way that anyone could have kept up with the Chargers today.
END OF GAME
The clock winds down and that is now full time. The Chargers win 34-13.
The Chargers with this win will now be in the Wild Card hunt, while the Broncos are just finishing out a difficult season.
The Chargers are marching well and keeping the clock running. First down now with 1:25 to go.
With just five minutes to go, the running game or perhaps the short dump off passes will do far more damage than any long passes.
Right now, the clock is their best weapon
The Chargers get it back and keep the ball on the ground. I'm not sure that I would throw it very much if I were them.
Still a long way to go but the touchdown takes it to 34-13.
Lock hits Fant for Denver's first touchdown of the day! A very neat and tidy drive for Denver.
A short pass for no gain, but Lock draws the roughing the passer flag so Denver gets a 1st and goal from the 5.
Denver now from the 12 yard line
Lock takes his own deep shot and hits Seth Williams on the right side for a 34 yard gain!
Another play and Fant gets it again for a six yard gain.
Lock looks for Fant on the first play for a 16 yard gain.
With just over ten minutes to go, the Broncos are now playing for pride. Can they get something back?
The extra point is through and the Chargers extend their lead to 34-6.
Herbert goes for a homerun and hits Williams on the layout grab into the end zone for a touchdown! He now has 35 touchdown passes this season and takes the franchise record!
Herbert hits Palmer for 5 and that brings up 3rd down
First down and Eckeler gets the hand off for a 2 yard gain.
Denver is playing for their season now and it is slipping from their fingers.
An incomplete pass over the middle and Denver gets another 4th down. Lock looks for Fant and it is batted away. The Chargers take over on downs.
Lock is hitting the short outside routes steadily and the Chargers seem content to give him that. Why wouldn't they? If their defense can stiffen up in the Red Zone as well as they have today, there is no reason to overcommit for the long ball.
Okwuegbunam gets the first down on a quick out.
Williams gets the handoff and is stacked up for a short gain.
Denver get the ball back and Lock hits Fant for 11 yards.
The Chargers put the extra point through and the score is now 27-6!
Nobody can come close to catching him. That is the first kick return touchdown for the Chargers since Michael Spurlock did it in 2012!
Denver kick it off and Andre Roberts takes it in the end zone. He picks up a block, cuts back and is gone! 101 yard kickoff return for the touchdown!
They are going to kick it through for the 3 points and that makes it 20-6 here to start the 4th quarter.
The Broncos are going for it, and they give it to Gordon who takes it in. Flag down! Illegal formation against Denver. Five yard penalty.
Time runs out on the third quarter and the Broncos will have a 4th and goal from the one to start the 4th quarter.
Third and goal now and Denver dump it underneath to Gordon, who is brought down at the one!
Second and goal and Williams gets it again, this time for no gain.
Hand off to Williams who picks his way for 4.
Roughing the passer and offside on the defense. They take the roughing call, half the distance to the goal and 1st down. The Broncos are set up 1st and goal at the 9.
He read the blitz and chose the one on one matchup.
On 3rd and 12, Lock goes for it all and it falls incomplete. Flag down.
Missed block on Joey Bosa and he meets Gordon in the backfield for a 4 yard loss.
On 3rd and 7, Lock slings it to Gordon for a first down. Denver are moving the ball well on this drive.
On 2nd and 14, Lock hits Sutton and he puts a move on the defender to get 7 yards back!
The Chargers come on a blitz and Williams is stuffed for a 6 yard loss.
Williams takes the handoff and goes right up the middle for a 7 yard gain.
The kickoff goes out for a touchback and first play from the 25, Lock hits Fant for a 35 yard gain!
The Chargers put it through the uprights and go up 20-3.
Third and goal now and Herbert scrambles, throwing incomplete to the back of the end zone. the field goal comes on and getting away with only 3 points feels like a win for Denver after a drive that they could barely keep up with.
Second and goal from the 5 and Herbert throws it incomplete on the quick slant.
Eckeler gets the hand off and now Denver closes him down for a loss of 4.
LA now down inside the 10, and get the first down just inside the 1 with a completion to Guyton!
Eckeler once again picking his way for 4 yards.
The Chargers are fully in control on offense now. They are making throws, gaining yards on the ground, and pretty much running the field.
Herbert passes to Allen for a 16 yard gain! He is really in a groove now.
The Broncos challenged the ruling that Eckeler was down by contact. The ruling was upheld so Denver lose a timeout.
A long catch a run for 40 yards!
3rd down and on the pass, Herbert checks down to Eckeler. He breaks a tackle and scrambles for a huge gain!
They give it to Eckeler on second down and he is dropped for a loss of 4
Herbert comes out throwing and gets the completion for 7 yards
A great kick. 40 yard punt for a 4 yard return.
Lock goes to the air for two incompletions and the punting unit will come out.
Gordon gets the ball again for a short gain and the Broncos rotate him out for Williams.
Denver seems to be content to work on the ground and get 18 yards on two plays from Gordon.
The Broncos take the kickoff to start the third quarter and it is a touchback. Denver will go to work from the 25.
So Denver manufacture 3 points out of nothing, and going in for the half and the Chargers are up 17-3.
With 2 seconds left, the Broncos line up for a 61 yard field goal attempt. Brandon McManus leans into it and it is good! Boy did he hit that!
Next play they get another 8. The Chargers are giving them the underneath throw.
With ten seconds left, Lock throws for a 25 yard gain.
With that touchdown pass, Justin Herbert ties with Philip Rivers for the Chargers franchise record for the most TD passes in a season at 34.
The extra point is through and the Chargers go up 17-0
Keenan Allen was working against Hairston and it was thrown on a rope.
2nd and goal from the 8 and Herbert hits Allen for a touchdown!
Herbert throws it away and the clock runs down to 19 seconds.
Another chomp at it and the same throw for the same result. 23 seconds left, 1st and goal.
Herbert comes out throwing for an 8 yard completion. Jackson get out of bounds with 28 seconds left.
LA take their last timeout
He tries to, but the Broncos have very good pass coverage. Herbert pulls it down and runs for it. He gets the first down!
Herbert may take a shot long here
First down now and they hit Guyton outside for an 8 yard gain. LA take their second timeout on 3rd and 2.
Same play, same result. The Chargers are now inside the 30.
They lineup with one back and dump it to Eckeler on the swing pass for a big gain! First down!
They go for the hard count and Denver don't bite. The Chargers now take a timeout.
Just out of field goal range, this is a good call. 4th and 2
The Chargers line up to go for it on 4th down and Denver takes their second timeout.
On 3rd and 3, they give it to Eckeler for no gain.
The clock runs down to the two minute warning.
The Chargers are looking for a way to break through here, but the Broncos defense is very tight. They are selling yardage dearly.
Herbert hits McKitty for 8
Recovered by the Chargers!
He muffs it! The receiver can't bring in the ball.
Now it is the Denver defense's turn to stand strong! They get the stop and force the punt out of LA's end zone.
Los Angeles takes over on their own 1 yard line and get it out to the 8 on the check down throw.
Trick play and it doesn't work. Reverse, then throw to Lock who is taken down at the one. The Chargers defense comes up big and get the stop!
They look to go for it here down by 10.
Once again for the same result and Denver have another 4th and goal from the 2. Denver calls a timeout.
Give to Williams and no gain.
First and goal from the two and the naked bootleg hits Okwuegbunam for no gain.
Down in the Red Zone now, and lock hits Fant in the flat. Pushed out of bounds inside the 5!
They run the next few and pick up the first down. No big runs, just chipping away at the yards.
First play, right out the gate, he goes deep and hits Sutton at the Chargers 45! What a throw! 44 yard completion.
It looks like he is coming out. No matter how he does today, he has my respect for this. What a warrior.
But he is suited up and on the sideline, so who knows?
The Chargers take a 10-0 lead in the start of the 2nd quarter.
The Broncos stand strong and stop the Chargers at the 1. With 4th and goal, the Chargers take the 3 and Hopkins puts it through for a 19 yard field goal.
The Chargers poke and crawl their way inside the five. This drive isn't as explosive as the opening drive, but it is very effective.
Herbert has shortened up his reads and seems to be finding a rhythm.
That is the end of the first quarter and we swap ends with LA up 7-0
Eckeler comes back in and gets the ball on the draw for a gain of six
Herbert is flushed and rolling right he finds a receiver just across midfield. That was much better! Maybe he needs the pressure to perform...
Herbert tries a naked bootleg and floats a duck incomplete. He has just lost all his snap on these last two drives.
Sam Martin gets off a booming 56 yard punt for just a 1 yard return.
He shows some bravery in throwing long, but it goes incomplete and the Broncos now go three and out.
He is less physical than Lock, perhaps more of a tactician.
Brett Rypien takes over on this drive. It seems that Drew Lock is feeling some pain in his shoulder and is being looked at on the sideline.
Better punt this time, fielded by Spencer who is taken down immediately. The Broncos will take over inside the 15 yard line!
The Chargers are now looking decidedly less sharp since that opening drive. They have another three and out.
No flag. The Chargers take over after a questionable no-call.
Sam Martin was battered after he kicked it. Why wasn't that roughing the kicker?
Another 4th down and for the first time today the Broncos will punt it away.
Lock throws a bullet and it is almost intercepted by James! So close
Lock comes out firing with the long ball. Pass interference! Both the receiver and the DB were flagged. Offset, repeat 1st down.
Terrible punt! 25 yard kick sees the Broncos get the ball back just inside the 20
The Denver defense stiffens up on this drive and the Chargers go 3 and out.
Another short field for LA, with the ball spotted at the Broncos' 46.
Jerry Tillery gets to Lock and sacks him for a loss of ten! The Chargers take over on downs!
Another 4th and 6 and, no hesitation at all, the Broncos line up and go for it.
For a team under .500, with the injury list that they have, starting their backup quarterback, they Broncos are showing no nervousness at all about facing up to the Chargers.
That was a gutsy move with the lineup difficulties that they have.
Handoff to the single back and they get the first down!
On 4th down they line up and will go for it. Denver are planting a flag early!
The Broncos are throwing with confidence. On the 3rd and 7, Lock runs for it and gets 6.
Opening play, 15 yard completion to Hinton on the out route.
Denver will now receive the kickoff and they need to respond. Drew Lock can't let himself be bullied by this LA defense.
The extra point is converted and with 3 minutes 10 gone in the first, the Chargers lead 7-0.
Very strong opening for the Chargers!
Austin Ekeler breaks tackles and carries down for a touchdown!
Herbert is confidently picking holes in this Denver defense.
Big pass interference call and just like that the Chargers are within field goal range.
The Chargers come out running the ball, trying to pick holes in that depleted Broncos defense.
Justin Herbert takes over and starts from the 45.
Denver won the toss and deferred to the second half. LA receives the opening kickoff and Andre Roberts returns it 47 yeards!
We are just minutes away from kickoff now in Sofi Stadium, Los Angeles.
While spirits are high on the Broncos sideline, you can't overlook the fact that they are down ten starters for today's game. This will be a steep hill to climb.
The Chargers are showing solidarity and confidence that they will weather this bump and take their season in hand tonight.
The Denver faithful are hoping that their boys can deliver a miracle after this week's news that legendary coach Dan Reeves passed away.
Denver is in a far more precarious situation, needing to win both of their final two games as well as getting a huge helping of luck from other games around the league. With Teddy Bridgewater expected to sit this one out, the stage lights may be dimming on their season.
Los Angeles had the golden ticket in their hands last week but saw it slip from their grasp as they lost to the Houston Texans. A win would have seen them in charge of their own destiny, now with the loss, they are up against the wall.
Welcome to the live coverage of the AFC West matchup between the Denver Broncos and the Los Angeles Chargers. With both of these teams needing this win to keep their post-season hopes alive, this could be viewed as perhaps the first real playoff game of the season. The loser of this match will almost certainly see their season end and the winner is very likely to find a spot in the post season.