The Chargers -- led by a punishing defensive performance and two electrifying plays from wide receiver Travis Benjamin -- shut out the Denver Broncos 21-0 Sunday at StubHub Center for their third straight win and first in Los Angeles since 1960.
Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian -- pressured by powder blue jerseys all afternoon -- was sacked five times and the Broncos committed three turnovers while generating only 251 yards of total offense. And while Los Angeles' offense could muster just 242 yards of its own against Denver's dominating defense, its other two phases answered the bell.
On the third play of the game, Chargers safety Adrian Phillips stripped Broncos wide receiver A.J. Derby of the football, which was recovered by linebacker Jatavis Brown. Los Angeles took over at Denver’s 45-yard line, but eventually turned the ball over on downs after Melvin Gordon was stopped on four straight runs from the one-yard line.
After forcing a punt on Denver’s next possession, Los Angeles used its special teams to score first in a game for the first time this season. Benjamin showed off his speed on a 65-yard return for a touchdown to make the score 7-0 after a Nick Novak extra point.
Running back Austin Ekeler caught a one-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Philip Rivers in the second quarter to put the Chargers up 14-0 at halftime. Los Angeles put the game on ice in the fourth quarter when Rivers connected with Benjamin for a 42-yard touchdown reception to put the Chargers up three scores.
Defensive ends Joey Bosa and Chris McCain had two sacks each. Rivers finished the game 15-of-26 for 183 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Hunter Henry caught four passes for 73 yards.
ODDS AND ENDS
-Sunday marked Philip Rivers' 100th career regular-season win.
-Sunday also marked the Chargers’ first three-game winning streak since a stretch in November 2014.
-The last Chargers player to return a punt for a touchdown was wide receiver Micheal Spurlock (a 63-yard return) during the 2012 season.
-The Chargers’ last shut out came on Oct. 5, 2014 in a 31-0 win over the New York Jets.
Los Angeles travels east to take on the New England Patriots next Sunday, Oct. 29th at Gillette Stadium. Kickoff is at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on CBS.
Source: Chargers | Chris Hayre | October 22, 2017