Last-place Broncos doomed by scoring 1 touchdown in 7 trips across midfield against Chargers

Last-place Broncos doomed by scoring 1 touchdown in 7 trips across midfield against Chargers

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Broncos coach Vic Fangio wanted to give his players a crumb of credit for rallying from a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers before eventually losing 19-16.

“I think that reflects well on the team, their effort, their toughness, their resiliency,” he said.

But before another question could be asked, Fangio changed gears in what could be seen as him being fed up with the shoddy execution during another lost Broncos season and/or telling a loyal-but-frustrated fan base that the status quo isn’t acceptable.

Fire away, Vic.

“We have to start making plays and not do the things that cause you to lose a game like that,” Fangio said after Michael Badgley’s game-winning 37-yard field goal with 41 seconds remaining. “We can’t give up an opening (53-yard) kickoff return where they return it deep into our end for a field goal. We have to make our field goals. We have to catch the ball when it’s thrown to us. We have to throw the ball more accurately at times. We have to play receivers tighter no matter who’s playing corner and not just play scared. We have to tackle when we have the opportunity to tackle.

“We have to do all of the things winning teams do.”

The Broncos (5-10) aren’t close to being a winning team and they struggle to beat non-winning teams. They have lost to the Chargers (6-9), Atlanta (4-11) and Las Vegas (7-8).

Despite the litany of issues cataloged by Fangio, the Broncos rallied to tie the score on Brandon McManus’ 52-yard field goal with 2:42 remaining. One more stop and the Broncos could steal a game from the Chargers like they did in Week 8, when they erased a three-touchdown deficit.

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But the Chargers used three big plays (11, 23 and 23 yards) to set up Badgley’s winner. On the ensuing drive, Broncos receiver DaeSean Hamilton’s 25-yard catch, to the 49, converted a fourth-and-10. As time expired, quarterback Drew Lock’s heave to the end zone was intercepted by receiver-turned-cornerback Mike Williams.

From 2000-16, the Broncos had one double-digit loss season (4-12 in 2010); they’ve lost at least 10 games in three of the past four years.

The Broncos are also on the cusp of finishing last in the AFC West for the second time in four years; they finished last just once from 2000-16 (2010).

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