Second-quarter notes from Qualcomm Stadium:
2:00 P.M. PST: One step out of bounds, and a touchdown turns into a mere field goal. Such is how Tatum Bell’s 51-yard run proved to be a disappointment; the Broncos offense stalled after the tailback sprinted right and into the open field with the team’s longest run of the year; Jason Elam salvaged the drive with a 34-yard field goal to get the Broncos on the scoreboard.
2:01 P.M. PST: But the Chargers are back near midfield again, after Antonio Cromartie returned Paul Ernster’s low, line-drive kickoff 45 yards to the San Diego 47. Again, the Broncos come up shy in another skirmish in the field-position battle. One play later, Philip Rivers finds Brandon Manumaleuna for 14 yards and San Diego is at the cusp of field-goal range.
2:04 P.M. PST: More than the cusp after Eric Parker gets a step on Darrent Williams and grabs Rivers’ rainbow pass at for a 34-yard gain to the San Diego 2.
2:05 P.M. PST: With the Qualcomm Stadium crowd bellowing “LT, LT, LT,” the Bolts give them what they want as LaDainian Tomlinson plows over the left side for his first score of the day and the Bolts’ third. The Broncos now trail 21-3 — their largest deficit of the year.
2:13 P.M. PST: Denver drives past midfield, but Jay Cutler’s third-and-6 pass sails away from Rod Smith as Igor Olshansky bears down upon the rookie quarterback. Paul Ernster’s punt sails into the end zone for a touchback, and the Chargers begin their fifth possession of the afternoon at their 20-yard-line.
2:37 P.M. PST: San Diego not only drove to a fourth touchdown, but they chewed up 6:19 of the clock in doing so, negating the Broncos’ chances of executing a two-minute drill scoring drive as they did last week against Seattle. The 25-point halftime deficit is the Broncos’ largest since the January 2005 wild-card loss at Indianapolis.
Tags: San Diego Chargers