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Chargers blast Broncos 34-13

Mike Florio and Chris Simms explain why it could be a close game between the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers with an expected cold night at Lambeau Field.

After a particularly disappointing loss to the Texans in Week 16, the Chargers took care of business on Sunday.

Los Angeles defeated Denver 34-13 at home.

With the Broncos missing several players due to either COVID-19 protocols or injury, the Chargers were able to control the game from cover to cover. Running back Austin Ekeler opened the scoring with a 3-yard touchdown on Los Angeles’ first drive. The Chargers added a field goal and a Keenan Allen touchdown reception to hold a 17-3 lead at halftime.

Los Angeles blew it open in the fourth quarter when Andre Roberts returned a kick 101 yards for a touchdown. Then quarterback Justin Herbert set the Chargers’ single-season record for passing touchdowns with a 45-yard strike to receiver Mike Williams down the left side.

That made the score 34-6 and the Chargers started to remove some of their starters — like safety Derwin James.

The Broncos added a cosmetic touchdown with Drew Lock’s 5-yard pass to tight end Noah Fant. But the Chargers didn’t give the ball back, sealing their 34-13 win.

Herbert finished the game 22-of-31 passing for 237 yards with two touchdowns. Williams caught three passes for 63 yards with a TD. Austin Ekeler had 58 yards rushing and a touchdown, plus three catches for 54 yards.

On the other side, Drew Lock finished 18-of-25 passing for 245 yards with a TD. Fant’s score was his first time in the end zone since Week Six.

With the victory, the Chargers will now make the postseason with a victory over the Raiders next week. That should make the matchup between L.A. and Las Vegas a candidate to be flexed either to Saturday or Sunday night.

Denver will finish its season hosting Kansas City next week.