From the Pressbox: Broncos v. Chargers

It’s a Sunday Night ESPN homegame, of course I’m liveblogging it!

6:10….A beautiful night for football. And the Broncos are dressed like blueberries. Sweet! I’d much rather see orange pants, but that’s me. Let’s see if they kickoff on time. I’m betting not.

6:17p….A big game for both teams. The Chargers can score with anyone; can the Bronco Defense hold them off? Will Jake throw touchdowns or picks? The answers to those two questions will be key to who wins this game.

6:20p….Tatum Bell’s toe is hurting so he’s not playing. Shouldn’t effect anything too drastically. The kickoff to the Chargers and they return it to the 22 yard line.

6:22p….First play. Tomlinson gets six. If he runs like that all night the Broncos are doomed…doomed!

6:23p….The Chargers are gonna run right down Denver’s throat. So far it’s working, but that’s been Shottenheimer’s M.O before and it hasn’t done anything for him. Another run and a face mask penalty. Maybe Marty’s due.

6:27p….A 3rd down stop, but another penalty. Offsides on Ian Gold. Ian is too fast to need to be offsides. Can’t do that. Of course, the penalty gives San Diego anther opportunity which they turn into a first down. That’s what’s been killing the Broncos all year.

6:30p….The pressbox chocolate chip cookies were out early. That makes me happy.

6:31p….Ouch! What a hit by Ian Gold! The ball’s could have been picked off but its incomplete instead. Just as good. A great stop by the defense. That makes me happy too.

6:38p….Of course Jake throws one incomplete pass and the “Jake-bashing” starts from the crowd. A three and out doesn’t help.

6:39p….I wonder if Jake Plummer buys his defense things like other QBs do for their offensive lines. He needs to because the defense just got a pick. Nick Ferguson gets it this time. Heat is definitely on the offense right now.

6:41p….Another three and out, and you can hear some boos. I becomes the same question every week, can the defense bail out the offense? At least special teams is helping the Broncos. A great punt by Ernster that is downed at the one by Curome Cox. I great play. The Broncos need to take advantage.

6:43p….I imagine LaDanian Tomlinson will see the ball some with the Chargers at the one.

6:44p….First down went to L.T. but the second was a pass to Neal.. A key third down for San Diego, which is caught by L.T. Another third down let down for the Broncos. Letting up these third down conversions is so deflating.

6:46p….Another San Diego first down. The Chargers are driving and scoring first would be a big deal. As I type that L.T. breaks off a huge run. Not good right now for the Broncos. 2:00 left in the first quarter

6:50p….CalBear noticed, as did I, that the Chargers are getting Tomlinson outside of the containment where he is a load to bring down for a cornerback. This strategy is working so far as L.T. scores on just such a play. A huge wake up call for Denver. San Diego 7 Broncos 0 0:08 left in the first quarter

6:55p….Kickoff to the Broncos, but a face mask against them puts the ball back on the 12. These penalties are getting ridiculous. I imagine Shanahan will have a thing or two to say about it at the half. Jake needs to get a drive going right now.

6:58p….Finally, a penalty on the Chargers. The clock has run out, but the quarter can’t end on a defensive penalty. One more untimed down for the Broncos. Which they parlay into a first down. Chargers 7 Broncos 0 End of the first quarter

7:02p….The Broncos do something on offense, but Jake paid for it. Way to stay in the pocket on the screen to Mike Bell. Mike needs to stay of his feet though. Those flips will catch up one day. It didn’t hurt him this time as Mike breaks a 26 yard run. Denver needs to keep running the ball. It’s been effective so far.

7:06p….A note; Jake is 1 for 6 passing so far. “Ugh” is right. Thank goodness Mike Bell is playing well. A first down rush for Bell. The Broncos are putting together a nice, long, time consuming drive. They must finish it with a touchdown though.

7:11p….The Broncos were out gained 133 to 16 in total yards in the first quarter. They are making up for it, however, in the second. A thirteen play drive results in a Mike Bell touchdown. Nice Drive. The Denver offense finally showed up. Good to see. Broncos 7 Chargers 7 8:17 left in the second quarter

7:14p….Broncos kickoff and forget how to tackle which gives the Chargers a nice return to the 37. Ooooh another timeout. We get a lot of these.

7:17p….Good news, the Broncos tie it up. The Bad news, L.T. got a rest. Denver defense is able to hold and gets the ball via punt at their own 16 yrd line. Another long drive would be key. 6:34 left in the second quarter

7:21p….A long try to Jevon Walker is incomplete. I like that play, even though it didn’t go, it keeps San Diego honest. Denver timeout. Time for a coke and a cookie. Be right back.

7:25…..I’m back, just like the Charger offense. Broncos gotta be more consistant, but we’ve said that all year.

7:28p….I gues your offense can have 3 and outs when the defense does the same to the other team. Nearly an interception, a great stop on third down, and the Broncos get the ball back on their 14.

7:29p….Jake scrambles and gets some yards but he’s lucky he didn’t fumble.

7:33p….A huge play for Denver, but a penalty negates it again. Javon Walker gets the penalty. At least they get the first. A good hard run by Bell brings us to the two minute warning. 2:00 left in the second quarter

7:41p….Needed another cookie. A nice job by Nash and Bell to work the running game. A score right before the half would be a killer for San Diego. Mike Bell does the job and gets his second 3 yrd touchdown of the quarter. Broncos 14 Chargers 7 0:38 left in the second quarter

7:43p….Nice drive, but Denver can’t rest on their laurels. Not the time to let up a big kick return.

7:45p….The Chargers can get anything going to end the half. Ekuban gets a sack. Broncos 14 Charger 7 Halftime

7:46p….What can be gleaned from the first half? That the Denver defense is good, and Damian Nash is an up and coming runningback for Denver. For the Chargers, this just in, LaDanian Tomlinson is good. It will be tough to stop him in the second half.

7:59p….Start of the second half. Denver will receive. If they can put together a drive like the the one they had to end the first half, they’ll be in good shape. A huge return by Cecil Sapp definitely helps. Ball at Charger 47.

8:03p….Remember the Chargers outgaining the Broncos in the first quarter? Well Denver turned the tables in the second quarter. The Chargers had 9 total yards while the Broncos had 177 total yards. A huge turn around. Broncos continue to rush effectively.

8:04p….Offense stalls, but the Broncos have Elam. He’s nearly automatic, and converts the 42 yrd field goal. Broncos 17 Charger 7 10:48 left in the third quarter

8:08p….Chargers get the ball on the twenty. They try a screen pass but Champ Bailey shuts it down. I don’t know why teams throw Champ’s way. He’s a force on defense.

8:10p….I guess teams shouldn’t throw it the other way either. Darrent Williams intecepts and takes it to the house. It’s official! The defense is for real. San Diego is in danger of getting blown out. Broncos 24 Chargers 7 9:25 left in the third quarter

8:11p….Back to receive for San Deigo is Michael Turner, the kick returner (it rhymes). He brings it back to the 40 yrd line with a thumping return. Tackling continues to hurt the Denver special teams.

8:13p….Chargers predictably go back to L.T. He gets a screen pass and gets a big gain. Rivers forced to scramble, then a pass across the middle which gets blown up by Elvis Dumervil.

8:16p….Charger still able to move the chains. They needed this drive to stem the Denver tide from washing over them. Another big hit! Eric Parker gets flipped by Champ Bailey.

8:17p….Gates almost gets into the endzone. First and goal San Diego. I smell L.T. I’m right. Tomlinson with the 3 yrd touchdown. He can’t be stopped on the goal line. A key response by the Chargers. Broncos 24 Chargers 14 5:10 left in the third quarter

8:20p….A note: That was Ladainian Tomlinson’s 100th touchdown. He is the fastest player to reach the 100 TD plateau. I’m a witness to history!

8:23p….Another note: Since starting 1 for 6, Jake Plummer has completed 6 of his last 8. Way to correct those mistakes. Ooooh. Not all of them cause Plummer just threw a hospital ball to Rod Smith who got crushed. I couldn’t believe he got up.

8:26p….Forget what I just said. Two more bad passes, including one nearly intercepted and the Broncos go three and out.

8:28p….San Diego gets the ball on their own 42. 4:41 left in the third quarter

8:31p….I was just gonna comment on Phillip Rivers and his incomplete passes when he completes one to Tomlinson who takes it 51 yrds to the house. So much for the defensive battle. Broncos 24 Chargers 21 3:51 left in the third quarter

8:33p….Well, if you’re gonna have a horse race it might as well be between a Bronco and a Charger. Just sayin’.

8:36p….Broncos are on another grind it out drive. Shanahan’s using Nash and Mike Bell to perfection. I wonder what Tatum and his sore toe are saying right now? I’m not sure the toe hurts as bad as it did this morning. End of the third quarter

8:39p….1217 no shows to the game. That’s kind’ve a lot. The fans deserve to boo that many no shows. Chickens. Can’t take a little cold weather and a sleepy Monday morning?

8:42p….The Broncos miss on third down, but go for it on fourth and make it to keep drive alive. 10 plays so far on this drive. You keep L.T. from hurting you by keeping him off the field. Good job offense. And a super catch by Javon Walker! Another trip into the red zone. San Diego reviews the catch and they may be on to something. It looked to me that Walker stepped out of bounds before catching the ball. If so, that makes him an ineligible receiver and the Broncos would be penalized. I think I’m right, but I hope not.

8:45p….I’m wrong. Nice catch by Walker! Sorry to have doubted you Javon.

8:48p….Jake overthrows Walker on first, an ugly looking Q.B. draw on second. Elway is cringing from the stands about that one. Now a time out. Talk about stalling. 11:46 left in the fourth quarter

8:51p….Plummer comes out of the time out and promptly fumbles the snap. Elam comes in and conversts the 38 yrd field goal. Broncos 27 Chargers 21 11:13 left in the fourth quarter

8:54p….Another good return by Turner. Tackled by Ernster. Hmmm Ernster tackles Turner the returner. Sounds like a rhyme. While a ponder that bad poetry L.T. breaks off a long run. Then a pass to Gates, and Rivers has his Charger offense rolling again. The final score may be 42-41.

8:59p….Rivers to Gates for another first down. The Chargers are 7 for 11 on third downs. Not good for the Denver defense. Now a touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson and the Chargers suddenly take the lead. Chargers 28 Broncos 27 6:45 left in the fourth quarter

9:02p….A note: Keenan McArdle hurt his calf and is out for the game.

9:03p….Broncos get the ball on the twenty. A 6:40 minute drive culminating in points would be very good right now. Time for Jake to add to his “fourth quarter comeback” stats.

9:06p….Not sure why, but the Broncos have ran Bell right up the middle twice. A key 3rd and two right now. Bell gets the first down and move the chains. Can the Broncos melt enough clock to win this game? They can’t score too quickly like they did against the Colts. A tackle for a loss hurts making it 2nd and 16.

9:08p….Nash gets most of it back giving Denver a third and four. Another key play. I’ve said that a lot tonight. Plummer throws it incomplete and the Broncos have to punt. Not a good place to falter.

9:09p….Denver decides to think about this fourth down and takes a timeout. They need to go for this 4th and four. I would work for a bubble screen or a sprint option play. Both should get enough yardage. Rod Smith has been quiet too. Maybe a play to him.

9:11p….Plummer decides to throw a pick and the game is likely over. I need to go downstairs. Back later.

10:11p….Well the Broncos tried to come back but couldn’t and lose 35-27. Make no mistake about it, the Broncos lost this game. When you let a team back from a 24-7 deficit, let the other team convert 8 of 12 third downs, and turn the ball over in key situations you’re going to lose.

Broncos can’t get upset about this because they have a short week, but they put themselves in a tough spot. If they want to win the division, they need to win at K.C. and San Diego. Not fun.

And I wouldn’t want to be Jake Plummer this week. His interception, fumbled snap, and final drive fumble were all made in critical situations. I imagine it will be FM radio for the Snake. The sports talk shows are going to roast him and he deserves it. We don’t expect you to win every game for the Broncos, but we do expect you not to lose them.

One response to “From the Pressbox: Broncos v. Chargers”

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