INGLEWOOD, Calif. — The Broncos are back in the win column.
Led by a dominant defensive performance, Denver earned a 24-7 win to climb to 7-6 and remain in the thick of the AFC playoff race.
In their first division road win since 2019, the Broncos posted a first-half shutout and used several timely big plays on offense to earn a win in which they never trailed. The Broncos slowed down Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert before he exited near the end of the first half with an injury, and they continued to find success against reserve quarterback Easton Stick.
Offensively, the Broncos racked up more than 100 yards on the ground and committed just one takeaway. Russell Wilson's second-half touchdown throw to Courtland Sutton was the highlight of the game, and he tacked on another touchdown pass to Adam Trautman in the late stages of the game to provide the final margin.
As several other AFC rivals across the league faltered, the Broncos posted a big performance — and took another step toward playoff contention.
These were the players and plays that made the difference in the Broncos' Week 14 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Broncos didn't gain a two-possession lead until the waning moments of the first half, but a critical pair of sequences in the first quarter proved to set the tone for the game. On the Broncos' first offensive snap, Russell Wilson's throw to Marvin Mims Jr. was wrestled away by Michael Davis, and the Chargers took over at Denver's 13-yard line. The Broncos' defense, though, came up big. They forced an incompletion on third-and-3 and then proceeded to hold again on fourth down as the Chargers took an aggressive approach. With the turnover on downs, the Broncos escaped any damage from the turnover. On the Chargers' ensuing drive, which began at their own 9-yard line, Herbert's third-down pass was deflected by Baron Browning in the backfield and picked off by Jonathon Cooper. On the Broncos' attempt inside the 10-yard line, they took advantage. On the first play of the drive, Javonte Williams found a seam and scored a 3-yard touchdown to give Denver the lead for good. The Broncos' ability to capitalize — while the Chargers could not — helped determine the outcome of the game.
The Broncos' defense posted a dominant performance against the Chargers, as the unit held Los Angeles to 0-of-12 on third down to start the game. The Broncos also stopped the Chargers on five of six fourth-down attempts. The Broncos entered Week 14 with the league's fourth-best third-down defense and were dominant against the Chargers' offense.
Courtland Sutton continues to make big plays. His latest impressive catch came in the third quarter of Sunday's win over the Chargers, as he hauled in a one-handed 46-yard touchdown catch while being interfered with. On the play, the Broncos' offensive line provided Russell Wilson with plenty of time to throw, and Wilson launched the pass deep for Sutton. With the catch, Sutton notched his 10th receiving touchdown of the season and became the first Bronco since Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas in 2014 to record double-digit receiving scores.
Javonte Williams opened the scoring and recorded his first rushing touchdown since Dec. 26, 2021.
Lucas Krull recorded his first career catch at the end of the first half to set up a Denver field goal that put the Broncos up 10-0.
Alex Singleton was all over the field, as he posted 14 tackles, a sack, a quarterback hit, a tackle for loss and a pass breakup.
Josey Jewell and Zach Allen also recorded sacks.
Ja'Quan McMillian again stuffed the stat sheet, as he posted a sack, pass defense, two tackle for loss and two quarterback hits. He also nearly had a strip-sack and fumble recovery for a touchdown, but it was overturned upon replay review.