Tale of two halves in come-from-behind win over Chargers

Offense – B

It was an unforgettable first half (for all the wrong reasons) and an unforgettable second half (for all the right reasons). The Broncos had two first-half first downs and 60 total yards. The offense looked broken. They were booed off their home field. But down 24-3, running back Phillip Lindsay’s 55-yard touchdown run kick-started the come-from-behind win. The Broncos scored touchdowns on four of their final five drives, including Drew Lock’s 1-yard throw to KJ Hamler as time expired. Lock was 26-of-41 passing for 248 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Minus receiver Tim Patrick, the slack was picked up by DaeSean Hamilton (four catches-82 yards and a 40-yard touchdown). Tight end Albert Okwuegbunam drew two penalties (including pass interference on the second-to-last snap) and caught a 9-yard touchdown. The Broncos’ success in a two-minute situation should prompt coach Vic Fangio to suggest trying more of that in next week’s first half at Atlanta.

Defense – B

Justin Herbert is going to be a long-term problem for the AFC West and he was as advertised in his first game against the Broncos, completing 29-of-43 passes for 278 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. The takeaways were by Justin Simmons (46-yard return) and Bryce Callahan (in the end zone). The Broncos had issues stopping the run (5.5-yard average) and had no answer for receiver Keenan Allen (nine catches-67 yards). But the Chargers’ final drive was the Broncos’ exclamation point. Leading 27-24, the Chargers moved to the Broncos’ 17. But inside linebacker Josey Jewell drew a 15-yard crackback block penalty by tight end Hunter Henry, outside linebacker Bradley Chubb sacked Herbert two plays later and Los Angeles had to settle for a field goal with 2:30 left, giving the offense a chance to win at the buzzer.

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