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DENVER — The Denver Broncos obtained that spark they had been searching for with a quarterback swap – from their protection, anyway.

The red-zone woes are nonetheless there for the offense. Similar with the struggles to discover a constant floor sport. No less than, although, the Broncos are headed into a brand new 12 months on a feel-good be aware even when they had been formally eradicated from the playoff race.

Jarrett Stidham threw for 224 yards and a landing in an uneven efficiency throughout his first begin rather than a benched Russell Wilson because the Broncos beat the Los Angeles Chargers 16-9 on Sunday.

Stidham earned his first profession NFL win as a starter because of some well timed performs, reminiscent of a nifty 54-yard catch-and-run for a rating by Lil’Jordan Humphrey and a stellar defensive efficiency. The Broncos (8-8) pressured one turnover and held the Chargers to 2-of-11 on third down.

“As soon as I obtained again to my locker, texted my spouse simply what a cool feeling it’s to get my first NFL win,” stated Stidham, who earned his first ‘W’ as a starter since main Auburn to a 63-14 win over Purdue within the Music Metropolis Bowl on Dec. 28, 2018. “However with that, it’s not about me. … It’s in regards to the workforce getting the eighth win of the 12 months.”

Regardless of the victory, the Broncos noticed their playoff probabilities finish when Kansas Metropolis beat Cincinnati. The Broncos haven’t been to the playoffs since profitable the Tremendous Bowl following the 2015 season.

PHOTOS: Stidham uneven in 1st begin rather than Wilson as Broncos depend on protection to beat Chargers 16-9

It was a matchup of backup towards backup, with Stidham supplanting Wilson in an effort to attempt to spark a sporadic offense. The Chargers (5-11) went with Easton Stick for a 3rd straight begin after the damage to Justin Herbert.

Stidham was each strong and shaky in stepping in for Wilson, who noticed the workforce common 21.7 factors a sport below his watch.

“(Stidham) was collected, calm,” Broncos coach Sean Payton stated. “He was environment friendly out and in of the huddle.”

Los Angeles made it 16-9 with 1:17 left on a 52-yard area purpose from Cameron Dicker and tried an onside kick. It was recovered by Alex Singleton. Stidham took two knees to finish the sport.

The sport modified complexion at the beginning of the fourth quarter when D.J. Jones knocked the ball out of the fingers of Austin Ekeler, with Josey Jewell recovering the fumble in Chargers territory.

Denver turned the turnover right into a 20-yard area purpose by Wil Lutz to make it 16-6. The Broncos benefited from a move interference name on Jerry Jeudy close to the purpose line on fourth down. Two false begin penalties, although, moved them again and confronted with one other fourth-down name, Payton elected to kick.

The Broncos additionally made a giant play on particular groups with Zach Allen blocking a 50-yard area purpose by Dicker halfway via the fourth quarter. Additionally they thwarted a faux punt try within the first half.

The Broncos had been short-handed at receiver for Stidham, with receiver Courtland Sutton (concussion) and Marvin Mims Jr. (hamstring) sidelined. Humphrey had two catches for 69 yards, whereas Jeudy made three receptions for 54 yards after being below the climate earlier within the week.

As a workforce captain, Wilson briefly obtained on the sector for the opening coin flip. He spent the afternoon on the sideline in what might be the primary of his final two video games with the Broncos. The nine-time Professional Bowler was benched final Wednesday by Payton, who stated he was searching for an offensive enhance. Wilson later stated he was approached after a win over Kansas Metropolis on Oct. 29 about altering his contract or danger being benched.

Wilson has a $37 million damage assure for 2025 that’s triggered in March if he fails a bodily. The Broncos wished him to push again the date to offer them flexibility, however Wilson rejected it. Payton dodged the subject after the sport.

“When the season ends, and you’ve got questions particular to all of that – I wasn’t aware about the dialogue – however you’ll have the ability to ask the suitable individuals,” Payton stated. “Russ has been unbelievable this week.”

Stidham vouched for that.

“We had been speaking on the sideline,” stated Stidham, who made two begins final season with the Raiders. “I can’t converse extremely sufficient about him.”

Stick completed with 220 yards passing. He stepped in when Herbert broke his proper index finger within the second quarter towards the Broncos on Dec. 10.

“I’m simply actually annoyed and I feel all of us are, as a result of we don’t have the outcomes,” Stick stated. “Proper now, we’re not profitable soccer video games and that hurts.”


Chargers linebacker Khalil Mack eclipsed the 100-sack mark when he introduced down Stidham within the second quarter.

“It’s a landmark quantity,” Chargers interim coach Giff Smith stated. “It’s a loopy quantity.”

As well as, it was additionally Mack’s sixteenth sack of the season, which is a brand new profession greatest.


Broncos: RT Mike McGlinchey (ribs) and particular groups participant Delarrin Turner-Yell (knee) left within the first quarter.


Chargers: Host Kansas Metropolis on Jan. 6 or 7.

Broncos: At Las Vegas on Jan. 6 or 7.

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