November 26, 2020
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 The dark side returned as the Chargers blew another big lead to lose in dramatic fashion. Photo by Glenn Marshall.


By Jeremy Gonzalez, Sports Editor

Every week, it seems like the Los Angeles Chargers find new ways to lose football games.

Denver Broncos rookie receiver KJ Hamler caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Drew Lock as time expired to complete the furious 21-point comeback and stun the Chargers 31-30 in Denver. 

The Chargers held a 14-3 lead at halftime and extended their lead 24-3 with 7:38 left in the third quarter. The Broncos were being booed by their limited home fans in attendance at that point, but paid no attention as they slowly climbed back into the game. Denver had managed just one field goal in their first eight drives, but proceeded to score touchdowns on four of their next five possessions. 

Denver received the ball at their own 19 trailing 30-24 with 2:24 left on the game clock and one timeout remaining. The crucial play came on a fourth-and-4 at the Chargers 18 when Lock threw an incomplete pass intended for tight end Albert Okwuegbunam, but Bolts defensive back Brandon Facyson was flagged for pass interference in the endzone, which extended the Broncos drive with a fresh set of downs and placed the ball at the 1-yard line with time for one final play. 

Lock rolled to his right and found Hamler just as he was falling in the end zone to tie the game at 30. Kicker Brandon McManus’ extra point attempt sealed the late comeback to sink the Chargers. 

Los Angeles dropped its eighth straight AFC West matchup and blew a 16-plus-point lead for the fourth consecutive game (though they did defeat Jacksonville the week prior), becoming the first team in NFL history to do so. Herbert played well in the Chargers loss once again, throwing for 278 yards and three touchdowns but also tossed two interceptions. 

“I’m sorry. I feel bad,” Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said after the loss. “That game, we had it completely under control. The way we lost that game is completely unacceptable and I take responsibility for that.” 

QUICK SCORING

Los Angeles started off slow but scored in quick succession at the end of the first half, marching down the field 80 yards twice in the final 1:48 to jump ahead 14-3. 

Herbert found wide receiver Keenan Allen in the end zone from nine yards out for the first score and received the ball back right away after the Chargers defense forced a three-and-out. Herbert then drove the length of the field in less than a minute and capped the drive with a 2-yard touchdown strike to fullback Gabe Nabers. 

Lock had just one TD pass for the Broncos all year prior to this game. He exploded in the second half against the Chargers, racking up 190 yards and three TDs to wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton, Okwuegbunam and Hamler. Running back Phillip Lindsay added a 55-yard rushing touchdown in the second half. 

INJURIES

Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa left near the end of the game to be evaluated for a concussion. His status for next week’s game remains questionable. 

The Broncos lost cornerback A.J. Bouye (concussion) and tight end Nick Vannett (foot) at different points of the game. Their Week 9 status remains unknown. The injury report during the week will give more information on whether all these players will be ready to go come next Sunday. 

UPDATE IN THE STANDINGS

After their Week 8 matchup, the Broncos leapfrogged Los Angeles and now sits in third place with a 3-4 overall record. The Chargers dropped to 2-5 and now sit at the bottom of the AFC West. The Las Vegas Raiders won their match against the Cleveland Browns this past week, keeping them in 2nd place with a 4-3 record while the Kansas City Chiefs took care of business against a paltry New York Jets team, remaining atop the division with a 7-1 record. 

UP NEXT

Chargers: Los Angeles travels back home to face another AFC West rival, this time being the Las Vegas Raiders. The Silver and Black have quietly put together some quality wins over New Orleans, Kansas City, and most recently the Cleveland Browns in Week 8. Raiders running back Josh Jacobs ran for 128 yards in the 16-6 victory.
Broncos: Denver hits the road to face the Atlanta Falcons in Week 9. The Falcons are coming off a 25-17 win over the Carolina Panthers on Thursday Night Football. Wide receiver Julio Jones shined brightly under the primetime lights, catching seven passes for 137 yards.

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