Indeed, the Chargers are 6-1 in one-score games, with their only loss coming to the Broncos in Week 11, when Brandon McManus’ 34-yard field goal as time expired gave Denver a 23-22 win. The Broncos, meanwhile, are 4-6 in one-score games.
Some of those games were lost by plays that went astray late. But most of the Broncos’ defeats also saw them struggle in the middle of the game — particularly the second quarter, in which Denver has a minus-54 point differential that ranks 29th in the league. With 129 points allowed in the second quarter, the Broncos have surrendered nearly as many points in that quarter as they have in the third and fourth quarters combined (132).
The inability to play a full 60 minutes has dogged Denver.
“We’ll come out in those first three or four drives, and we’ll look pristine — three-and-out, three-and-out, three-and-out — and then it’s like we wrinkle just a tiny bit and we start letting up these big 10-yard chunk plays and the team gets rolling, and then we give up a score,” Gotsis said. “It’s like we lose our hand on things, and then we’re trying to claw to get it back.”
Often, the Broncos failed to undo the mid-game damage. Against the Chargers in Week 11, they succeeded. What are the keys to success Sunday?