CARSON, Calif. — The Chargers, spurred by a 65-yard punt return touchdown from Travis Benjamin, took a 14-0 lead into halftime against the Broncos on Sunday.
Benjamin fielded the punt off a single hop and cut through Denver's coverage team to give Los Angeles the lead midway through the first quarter.
Los Angeles added a 1-yard Austin Ekeler touchdown reception with 7:10 remaining in the second quarter to extend the margin to 14.
When it looked like Trevor Siemian and the offense might add points toward the end of the second quarter, Siemian was strip-sacked from behind by Chris McCain as Siemian rolled out to his left. The Chargers recovered to push the turnover margin to 2-0 in their favor and keep the Broncos off the board.
Siemian and Denver's offense outgained Los Angeles' offense in the first half but could not sustain long drives.
One of the Broncos' few highlights came on the Chargers' second drive of the game when Von Miller bullrushed Michael Schofield and sacked LA quarterback Philip Rivers. With the sack, Miller passed Karl Mecklenburg for the second-most sacks in Broncos' history.
The Broncos avoided an even bigger deficit after their defense held Melvin Gordon on four straight runs from the 1-yard line on the Chargers' first drive of the game. The goal-line stand erased the Derby fumble that gave the Chargers the ball on the Denver 45-yard line.
Los Angeles had moved the ball quickly to the 11-yard line following a 34-yard Hunter Henry reception and a pass interference call on safety Darian Stewart.