Hobbled Hopkins converts 4 field goals, including OT winner, as Chargers beat Broncos


Justin Herbert did not throw a landing move for the primary time in 27 video games. For as soon as, it did not matter due to the Los Angeles Chargers particular groups.

Dustin Hopkins kicked 4 field objectives, including a 39-yarder with 2:38 remaining in additional time, as the Chargers rallied for a 19-16 victory over the Denver Broncos.

Hopkins, who injured a hamstring in the course of the first half, grimaced as he kicked the ball and fell to the bottom earlier than being picked up by teammates. The ninth-year kicker was inactive for final week’s recreation towards Cleveland attributable to a quadriceps harm.

Hopkins’ heroics had been arrange when Deane Leonard recovered a muffed punt on the Denver 28-yard line.

Herbert, who continues to be recovering from fractured rib cartilage from successful one month in the past, appreciated Hopkins with the ability to intestine it out.

“We’ve received a lot respect for him. For him to go on the market and play and put up with some ache like that, it was nice to see,” mentioned Herbert, whose 56 makes an attempt with no TD move is an NFL file.

Coach Brandon Staley mentioned Hopkins’ hamstring type of cramped up early, however began to loosen up in the course of the second half.

“You cannot say sufficient about him hanging in there,” Staley mentioned. “At the tip we had no alternative. We had been going to kick it doesn’t matter what.”

Hopkins has 5 video games with 4 or extra field objectives. It can be the primary OT game-winner of his profession.

“I used to be attempting to deal with just a little backswing and simply get by way of the ball. And that was it,” Hopkins mentioned. “I wasn’t fascinated by the circumstance or something like that.”

The Chargers have received three straight to enhance to 4-2. They are tied with Kansas City atop the AFC West. It is the primary time in franchise historical past they’ve rallied from a double-digit deficit on the finish of the primary quarter to win.

Los Angeles was down 14-3 on the finish of the primary quarter final Sunday in Cleveland earlier than pulling out a 30-28 win.

This recreation seemed to be headed towards a tie till Denver’s Montrell Washington muffed JK Scott’s punt on the Broncos 32-yard line. It was recovered by Deane Leonard on the 28.

Washington referred to as for a good catch, however Denver security P.J. Locke did not hear Washington and tried to dam Ja’Sir Taylor when Locke ran into Washington.

“I simply noticed the returner operating up, he was type of relaxed, after which his teammate was simply standing there,” Taylor mentioned. “At first, for those who return, I paused just a little bit, after which it simply clicked in my head like, `Oh, simply throw him onto the returner.’ And it occurred, and the ball got here out.”

Herbert, who accomplished 37 of 57 for 238 yards and an interception, handed to Mike Williams for 9 yards on third-and-12 from the Denver 30 to get Hopkins nearer.

Russell Wilson was 15 of 28 for 188 yards and a landing for the Broncos (2-4), who dropped a recreation in additional time for the second straight week.

“We felt like we might have received the sport, after which we had the fluke play on the finish. It did not work out, however all people is collectively,” Wilson mentioned.

Denver jumped out to a 10-0 lead with scores on the primary two drives. Brandon McManus was good from 51 yards halfway by way of the primary, and Wilson discovered a wide-open Greg Dulcich for a 39-yard landing with 1:49 remaining within the quarter.

Dulcich’s TD was the primary of his profession and the Broncos’ first in 87 minutes, 54 seconds.

The Chargers answered on their ensuing possession, placing collectively a 15-play, 82-yard drive that was capped by Austin Ekeler’s 6-yard run up the center together with his linemen serving to him get throughout the purpose line.

Following a Denver three-and-out, Los Angeles evened it at 10 on Hopkins’ 37-yard field purpose with 53 seconds remaining within the half.

The Broncos weren’t content material to expire the clock although. KJ Hamler hauled in a 47-yard move to the LA 28. Denver received to the Chargers 9 earlier than McManus was good from 27 yards.

The Chargers tied it on their first drive of the third quarter when Hopkins break up the uprights from 31 yards.

The groups traded field objectives within the fourth quarter. McManus was good from 48 yards after Baron Browning picked off Herbert. The Chargers answered with Hopkins making it from 35.

“This could be very disappointing,” Denver coach Nathaniel Hackett mentioned. “We had some alternatives there, and we have to execute at the next stage. We’ve received to give you some higher performs.”

Looking forward, the Broncos host the stunning New York Jets on Sunday. The Chargers, in the meantime, host the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.


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