The Broncos Lost In Overtime After Muffing A Punt To Set Up The Chargers Game-Winning Field Goal

NFL fans were treated to another barnburner on Monday evening, with the Denver Broncos taking on the Los Angeles Chargers. Denver’s offense has scuffled throughout the season but, with the Broncos also putting out an elite defensive product on a weekly basis, Russell Wilson and company routine find themselves in close-fought games and this was no different against a division rival. In fact, 60 minutes was not enough to determine the winner, as the Broncos and Chargers headed to overtime in a 16-16 matchup.

In an overtime period that did not feature a single first down for either team, the big swing of the night occurred when the Broncos muffed a punt in their own territory to set up the Chargers in great field position.

It was a terrific play by the Chargers punt coverage to push a blocker into the return man, forcing the muff without committing interference, but it’s also a dreadful play by the Broncos return team to allow that to happen. Moments later, Chargers kicker Dustin Hopkins converted a 39-yard, walk-off field goal, cementing his status as arguably the standout of the night with four field goals despite an ailing leg.

By nature of zero first downs in the entire overtime period, one could guess this was not the most aesthetically pleasing game, and that would be correct. Denver repeatedly had issues on offense, producing fewer than 100 total yards in the second half and cooling off considerably after a strong start. Los Angeles averaged only 3.6 yards per play in their own right, battling offensive line injuries and problems the entire night, and Justin Herbert’s nine-yard pass to set up the game-winning field goal may have been the single biggest play of the evening.

From here, the Broncos will be aiming to right the ship following a 2-4 start, though Denver can at least take solace in a defense that is unquestionably excellent. Los Angeles stole a victory on an off night and, with the victory, the Chargers are 4-2 and hanging around the playoff picture. Still, this was not a game to write home about, and the prime time malaise has been an object of criticism for football fans across the country.