NFL: Broncos Win Finale But Miss Playoffs with 16-9 Victory Over Chargers

The Denver Broncos ended their season on a winning note, defeating the Los Angeles Chargers 16-9 at Empower Field on Sunday. However, the victory was bittersweet as Denver’s 8-8 record meant they were eliminated from playoff contention.

In his first start in nearly a year, Broncos quarterback Jarrett Stidham threw for 224 yards and a touchdown while filling in for the injured Russell Wilson. Stidham led several long drives that resulted in field goals.

The Broncos’ faint playoff hopes were dashed earlier in the day when the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Cincinnati Bengals, closing the door on Denver winning the AFC West division title. The Kansas City Chiefs had already clinched the division crown.

In a defensive battle, both teams relied heavily on their kickers. Chargers kicker Cameron Lutz made three field goals while Brandon McManus made three for Denver. A potential game-tying 50-yard field goal try by Chargers kicker Dustin Hopkins was blocked with 6:19 left in the fourth quarter.

While the Broncos ended on a positive note, their up-and-down season kept them out of the postseason. The win gave Denver a 6-3 record after the bye week but the inconsistent play early in the year proved too much to overcome.