Broncos block Chargers’ game-tying FG to give coach Vance Joseph first win

Phillip Rivers and the Chargers made things interesting late in Monday night’s AFC West showdown with the Broncos but the patented Denver defense came up big with the game on the line.

Trailing 24-7 entering the fourth quarter, the Chargers rallied for 14 points in just over two minutes as the Broncos offense managed just 13 plays in the final 11:58 of the game. Four Broncos drives resulted in an interception, fumble, missed field goal and a punt, giving the Chargers every opportunity to rally for their first win since relocating to Los Angeles after last season.

It’s a formula that worked wonders for the Jaguars, and it’s a defense that might make the rest of the NFL a little worried about Jacksonville.

No, Oakland didn’t suddenly go to “Beast Mode” to ground and pound past the Titans. Carr still dropped back 34 times (22 of 32, 262 yards passing, two TDs, two sacks, 114.3 rating). And beyond Lynch rushing 18 times for 76 of those scrimmage yards, the Raiders averaged only 3.9 yards per carry behind their mighty offensive line.

But he was mixed in, with even greater volume than expected in his first game back following a brief retirement. He also ran hard in his vintage way, setting the tone in a gritty matchup that became a field-goal fest instead of the expected shootout between Carr and Marcus Mariota.

The Raiders played with a more physical streak up front on both sides of the ball than the Titans, who pride themselves on having that kind of identity around Mariota. Lynch was particularly key in the second half, catching a 16-yard pass that set up a field goal in the third quarter and helping his team whittle the clock in the fourth quarter.
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