Von continues his streak
By flushing Philip Rivers out of the pocket and out of bounds, Von Miller racked up his 7.5th sack of the season and pushed his streak of regular-season games with at least one half-sack to seven. That stretch dates back to the season finale against San Diego in 2015.
In his six seasons, Miller has been a force against the Chargers. With 12 sacks in 11 games, Miller has almost 18 percent of his career sacks against San Diego, the most of any opponent.
The top shots of the Broncos' Thursday night showdown against the Charges in their orange Color Rush jerseys. (photos by Eric Bakke unless noted)
But Chargers QB Philip Rivers did his best to avoid facing the Broncos' pass rush in San Diego's quick-passing strategy. By getting the ball off quickly, Rivers prevented the Broncos defense from having time to break down San Diego's protection.
"It's always tough," Miller said. "They did a great job of blocking up front. Philip did a great job of standing tight in the pocket and not dropping back too deep and getting the ball off. He's one of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League and he went out there and showed it today."
The record for consecutive games with at least one half-sack is 10, held by one current Bronco (DeMarcus Ware) and one former Bronco (Simon Fletcher).
There were myriad reasons the Broncos offense struggled to find cohesion against the Chargers, but penalty woes on the offensive line were no small part.
Each starting offensive lineman was called for at least one penalty, totaling 55 yards in penalty yardage. But the impact went beyond just the penalized yardage. Holding penalties erased 62 yards and a touchdown, and gave the Chargers a safety.
"It's a discipline issue on penalties a lot of times," DeCamillis said. "We're going to have to correct them, we're going to have to make sure that we look into if there's anything that's a trend. So that's part of it, and then we just have to make sure that in those crunch- time situations we can't have those penalties. It's just something that we don't do and we have to get it corrected quickly."
DeCamillis identified practice reps as how the Broncos can eliminate those issues going forward.
"You have to put them in those kind of situations in practice," he said. "You have to talk about them and show them. It has to be corrected in practice because most likely if it's happening in practice, it's happening in the game. So we've got to put them in those situations as much as we can and make sure that we get those eliminated, because like you saw last night, you can't win doing that."
Talib tries to make a spark
For the first time since his rookie season, cornerback Aqib Talib returned a punt, trying to make something happen in a time of desperation down 21-10. The punt hung in the air before dropping at the 15-yard line as the coverage team swarmed, and Talib could not get more than a yard.
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DeCamillis has mentioned the possibility of Talib returning punts a couple times since the season began. After Talib returned an interception for a touchdown against Indianapolis, DeCamillis said the chance could arise.
"It'll be something that we'll discuss as the year goes on," DeCamillis said on Sept. 22. "He's caught some. He caught some last week and he caught some this week, so we'll see how that goes as the year goes on."
DeCamillis decided to take the chance just to try to get a spark late in the game.
"We needed to try to make a play right there," DeCamillis said after the game. "He got the worst possible punt he could get for that one. I mean the ball was going away. You've got to give credit to that kid [rookie punter Drew Kaser], because he obviously had a bad week last week and he came in and did a good job tonight."