LA Chargers: Getting to know the Week 16 Opponent, the Denver Broncos
Drew Lock and the Broncos offense has struggled this season. They are currently ranked as a bottom-five offense in yards and points per game. They also have the worst turnover differential in the NFL as they are -18 in that category.
No matter who has played quarterback for the Broncos, their offense has not been good. Broncos’ quarterbacks have combined for 21 interceptions this season with Lock leading the team with 13. They have the worst quarterback rating in the NFL (72) and have more interceptions thrown (21) than touchdown passes (19).
Where most of the Broncos’ success on offense comes from is on the ground. Their numbers aren’t anything too crazy, but they are ranked inside the top half of the league in rushing.
Former Charger Melvin Gordon leads the team with 814 yards and eight touchdowns while averaging 4.7 yards per carry. Phillip Lindsay has also added 502 rushing yards and one touchdown.
The Broncos have dealt with injuries all season to key players on their offense like Lock, Lindsay and Courtland Sutton which could be a big reason for their struggles. Despite all of those injuries and inconsistent quarterback play, the Broncos do have some very solid and young receiving options who have played well.
In the first two rounds of the NFL draft, they took Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler. Jeudy has 41 catches for 655 yards and two touchdowns while Hamler has 30 catches for 381 yards and three touchdowns.
Lock’s favorite targets this year has been tight end Noah Fant and wide receiver Tim Patrick. Fant has brought in 52 receptions for 560 yards and three touchdowns while Patrick leads the Broncos in yards (657) and touchdowns (6).
The Broncos have not played very well defensively either. While they are in the middle of the league in yards allowed per game, they give up the sixth-most points per game (28.2), which could be due to their league-leading 30 turnovers which give opposing teams good field position.
The strength of the Broncos’ defense is their pass rush. Even though they are missing Von Miller, they rank just outside the top ten in sacks. Bradley Chubb leads the team in sacks with 7.5 and Malik Reed is second with 6.5, both of them recorded a sack in their Week 8 matchup with the Chargers.
Justin Simmons has been one of the best safeties in the NFL over the past two years. While his coverage stats are down significantly from last season he is still one of the best in the league. Simmons has four interceptions, including one in Week 8, which ties last season for his career-high. Their defense has been underwhelming but players like Simmons and Chubb could have a massive impact on this game.