Herbert sets rookie mark as Chargers down Broncos
Justin Herbert passed for 253 yards and a touchdown, Michael Badgley kicked a go-ahead 37-yard field goal with 45 seconds remaining and the host Los Angeles Chargers defeated the Denver Broncos 19-16 on Sunday at Inglewood, Calif.
Austin Ekeler rushed for 45 yards and had a TD reception for the Chargers (6-9).
Herbert set the rookie record for touchdown passes in a season with 28, one more than Baker Mayfield in 2018. He also joined Philip Rivers and Dan Fouts as the only quarterbacks in franchise history to pass for more than 4,000 yards in a season.
Drew Lock was 24-of-47 passing for 264 yards and two interceptions and also ran for a score, while DaeSean Hamilton had five receptions for 77 yards for the Broncos (5-10).
Denver played without linebacker Bradley Chubb (ankle) and running back Phillip Lindsay (hip/knee), who was placed on injured reserve before the game. Denver then lost wide receiver KJ Hamler, who was placed in concussion protocol after being tackled in the first quarter.
Los Angeles played without tight end Hunter Henry, who was placed on the COVID-19 restricted list.
The Broncos trailed 16-3 before rallying to tie in the final three minutes. Brandon McManus hit a field goal from 50 yards out to make it 16-6, and it became a one-possession game when Lock scored on a quarterback sneak from the 1 as Denver pulled within 16-13.
After forcing another punt, McManus tied it at 16-16 on a 52-yard field goal with 2:47 remaining.
Herbert drove Los Angeles to the Denver 19, and Badgley kicked a 37-yard field goal — his fourth of the game — to put the Chargers back on top.
Hamilton’s catch at midfield with a second left gave the Broncos one last chance but Mike Williams intercepted Lock’s last-second heave into the end zone.
Badgley’s 37-yard field goal gave Los Angeles the early 3-0 lead in the opening quarter and Herbert fired his record-breaking touchdown pass of 9 yards to Ekeler to make it 10-0. Badgley increased it to 13-0 at halftime with a 43-yard field goal.
The Broncos finally scored when McManus kicked a 30-yard field goal with 5:11 left in the third quarter. Badgley hit from 25-yards out to make it 16-3 with 14:54 left.
–Field Level Media