Phillip Lindsay’s 55-yard touchdown run sparks Broncos rally over Chargers

The Broncos needed a spark. What they got was an explosion from running back Phillip Lindsay.

With Denver trailing the Los Angeles Chargers 24-3 with about 6 minutes remaining in the third quarter, Lindsay followed his blocks, made two cuts, found a seam and burst free for a 55-yard touchdown. The longest rushing play by the Broncos this season was the turning point in the Broncos’ stunning, 31-30 comeback victory. Until that point, the offense had done nothing.

“We are talking on the sideline about how we needed the big plays, and that somebody needed to do it,” said Lindsay, who gained 83 yards on just six carries. “I was the one who was able to do it and spark us.”

Lindsay, who was in the concussion protocol last week after a hit sustained against Kansas City, hasn’t had a ton of carries this season due to injuries, but he’s made the most of them.

“I go out there every day and I try to make explosive plays, and that’s all you can do,” he said. “It’s about making first downs, and touchdowns, and sparking. So I go with the flow. I don’t need 30 or 40 carries a game … I’m the type of person that, usually in the third or fourth quarter, I’m capable of breaking one at any time. There is just something about it.”

In other words, the moment was right for the former CU standout to start the snowball rolling.

“It was a good play call by Pat (Shurmur),” Lindsay said referring to his offensive coordinator. “Pretty much I was able to get one-on-one with the linebacker, make a move and explode out of there.”

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On the sidelines, the Broncos felt a jolt when Lindsay burst into the clear.

“It was like, electric,” safety Justin Simmons said. “It was like, we’ve got a little bit of momentum going and now it’s the defense’s job to come back out on the field and get a three-and-out.

“You get your running game going and it opens it up some for Drew (Lock), so that’s the type of stuff you are looking for as a defensive guy. You’re like, ‘Wow, look! Our offense is fighting. Let’s get another stop and give them another shot.’”

In the first half, the Broncos managed only 60 yards, including minus-1 yard on two carries for Lindsay. He’s one of Denver’s most emotional players, but quarterback Drew Lock, who engineered the final, game-winning drive, witnessed a different Lindsay at halftime.

“Phillip was calm today,” Lock said. “A lot of times when you have (so few) rushing yards at half, Phillip is going to lose his you know what. But we are a year older, we are more experienced and we’re all getting better.

“Phillip coming out, staying level-headed .. was just waiting for a play that was going to come his way. And he made it. That was just the epitome of today. The play was there to be made and the guy ended up making it.”

For the season, Lindsay, the pride of Denver South High School, has 204 yards on 39 carries, an average of 5.2 yards per carry. His ability to jumpstart an offense has become his trademark.

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