NFL | Oct 18, 2022

NFL Week 6 Monday Night Football: Broncos vs Chargers Recap

By Harry Bazley

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Injury bounce-backs, field-goal galore and Russ 'the Bust' Wilson all highlight Monday Night Football's matchup between the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers at Sofi Stadium. But don't get too excited, this one was an eyesore.

Special Teams Show

Out of the 35 total points scored, 21 of them came from field goals alone. That's right, we were blessed with just two touchdowns, and they were both quite boring.

While Denver's Brandon McManus hit 3/3, Chargers kicker Dustin Hopkins is the talk of the town after bouncing back from a hamstring injury to make all four of his field goal attempts, including a game-winner in overtime to save us from any more boredom.

What was surely the biggest moment of the game though, came just 3 plays earlier as Broncos' punt returner Montrell Washington muffed the catch and as LA recovered, his mistake set up the chip-shot field goal that stole the win.

Russ ‘the Bust’ Wilson

Justin Herbert may not have won this matchup as easily as I predicted, but Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson was about as disappointing as expected. If 188 passing yards is what $296 million buys, I'll pass thanks.

Nathaniel Hackett has officially splashed Denver's entire future on a QB that has put up less points than their kicker, and we’re a third of the way through the season. Wilson is beginning to look like one of the worst trades in history… I really don't know how 'Russ the Bust' hasn't caught on yet.

The Seahawks legend has an average QB rating of 35.8, an average completion percentage of 58.6 and just 2 more touchdowns than interceptions thrown year (which is 5 by the way... that's less than one TD a game). Sure, his O-line is pretty awful - allowing 20 sacks in just 6 weeks - but I still expected better from the 10-year vet.

Now, in fairness, he started off so well last night I thought he may just turn things around... Russ went 10/10 for 116 yards and a TD in the 1st quarter alone, but quickly returned to his usual form - completing just 5 more throws on 18 attempts in the next 3 quarters and overtime. Shocking.

Here's what topped off his only touchdown drive. Broncos fans, enjoy these clips while you can, they'll be few and far between so long as Wilson stays in Denver.

Defensive Highlights

I could talk endlessly about the lack of quarterback quality in this game, but credit where credit is due - both defenses put on a show (for anyone that actually likes defense).

In total we witnessed 11 punts, 4 of which came in overtime, plus 6 total sacks. The Broncos got to Justin Herbert twice, but LA took the crown as they brought down Wilson 4 times in the backfield.

Drue Tranquill led the unit with 2 solo sacks as the Chargers ran circles around Denver's offensive line.

In a vital play for the Broncos, Baron Browning came up with an interception in the fourth quarter to halt the Chargers' drive. Browning may have fumbled immediately, but the ball bounced Denver's way, setting them up for a late go-ahead field goal.

Offensive Highlights

Although there wasn't much action in the passing game, there were a few catches that highlight a pretty average day for wide receivers and QBs alike.

Let's start with Russell Wilson's biggest play of the day - a 47-yard pass to KJ Hamler.

Despite a nice step-up in the pocket, and a vintage Wilson moon-ball, it was still well underthrown. This could have been a touchdown if he puts a little more on it.

Jerry Jeudy joins Hamler on the Broncos highlight reel as he gets free on this vital 3rd down to continue Denver's only touchdown drive. As much as I hate to say it, this was a nice scramble and throw from Wilson.

There wasn't too much action for the Chargers offense either. Herbert may have clocked 238 yards through the air, but not much of it was highlight worthy.

One play you could say was semi-crucial, was a third down completion to Mike Williams on the penultimate play of the game to inch Dustin Hopkins a little closer for the game-winning field-goal. But it's nothing too special...

So instead, here's LA's only touchdown of the night from Austin Ekeler, who has made 6 trips to the endzone in his last 10 quarters of action. We all know Ekeler is hard to stop, but what on earth are the Broncos doing here...

Luck in LA

They may have a winning record, but the Chargers are certainly the luckiest team in the league right now.

Their last two wins have come from a missed game-winning field-goal by the Browns (typical), and now a muffed punt in overtime after two unsuccessful drives. The Chargers could easily be 2-4 but they've somehow managed the opposite...

Brandon Staley has a good squad on his hands, but LA may drop down the ranks in the AFC West if they don't get to work on their offense.

So, Russell Wilson is still bad, Los Angeles are still lucky and they're both still team that nobody really cares about. You can all go back to sleep now.

But make sure you wake back up for a Cardinals-Saints recap this Friday, where I'll be spouting my usual nonsense and probably complaining about how much New Orleans underappreciate and under-utilise Taysom Hill.