DENVER — They haven’t won here since 2013, and hiring a new head coach or moving to a new city didn’t change the luck of the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Chargers have now lost their past four appearances on “Monday Night Football” and are 22-23 all time in the prime-time contest.
Mistakes were costly for the Chargers early in this one.
A Keenan Allen dropped pass stopped a promising drive in the opening quarter. Allen finished with two drops. According to ESPN Stats & Information, it’s the first time in his five-year NFL career that Allen had multiple drops in a game.
Casey Hayward dropped an interception that he could have returned for a score in the first half.
Anthony Lynn became the first Chargers head coach to not win his debut since Marty Schottenheimer in 2002. Norv Turner and Mike McCoy both won their first games as head coach of the Chargers.
Speaking of McCoy, now the offensive coordinator for the Broncos, he had to be smiling after this one, as Denver appeared to be in the Bolts’ huddle at times.
However, the Chargers made things interesting late. Down 24-7 heading into the fourth quarter, the Chargers used back-to-back turnovers to work their way back into the game.
“We just waited too long to get started,” Philip Rivers said. “You could feel it in the place and I know what it feels like. We’ve been on both sides of those kind of games when teams start roaring back like that, it’s like, “uh oh.” You know, you can feel them. We were going pretty good and just came up short.”
The Chargers took over at Denver’s 43-yard line, and six plays later, Rivers found Allen for a 5-yard touchdown, cutting Denver’s lead to 24-14.
The Chargers took over at Denver’s 38-yard line. All it took was one play this time, a 38-yard bomb from Rivers to Travis Benjamin, and the Chargers trailed just 24-21 with seven minutes left.
With two minutes left, Rivers marched the Chargers into field goal position with the hopes of overtime.
Undrafted rookie Younghoe Koo made the first kick, but the Broncos called timeout before the snap.
On Koo’s second try with five seconds left in the game, his 44-yard attempt was blocked by Shelby Harris, helping the Broncos escape with a win.
“It’s unfortunate,” Koo said. “I wish it went in, but it is what it is. We’ve just got to learn from it and move on to the next one.”
Although the Chargers now sit at 0-1, they play their next three games at home at the StubHub Center, beginning on Sunday.
“We have to go back to work here on Wednesday,” Lynn said. “The Dolphins are in town waiting for us and they don’t care about this game or how we feel.”