For the first time since last Christmas, meaningful Football was played inside the walls of Mile High.
The Denver Broncos played host to the new-look Los Angeles Chargers to cap off Week 1 of the 2017 NFL season and walked away with the 24-21 victory. Despite being up 24-7 to start the fourth quarter, the Orange & Blue let veteran Philip Rivers and Co. make the contest interesting. With all the drama the fourth held, the better team on the night prevailed, and Denver walked away with the 16th home-opener victory in 17 seasons. While it takes 53 men and a talented coaching staff to make it all work, these three on-the-field stars shined brightest.
Second-year starter Trevor Siemian has seen his ups and downs throughout his career, going from third string backup to captain of this storied franchise. On Monday, No. 13 just went out and did what was asked.
Siemian was 17-of-28 for 249 yards with two touchdowns in the air and one interception, which was made by Chargers’ safety Adrian Phillips after a whacky play that saw the ball being batted and kicked into the air. While throwing the ball is Siemian’s bread and butter, he was able to show off his legs a little as well, juking Joey Bosa for rushing TD—a career first.
With his performance Monday night, Siemian racked up a 94.2 quarterback rating and a Pro Football Focus score of 82.1, fifth best in the league.
Bennie Fowler III
Wide receiver Bennie Fowler III did not see much action Monday, but when he did, he made it count. Fowler caught three passes from Siemian for a total of 21 yards Monday night; he also had every touchdown thrown by Siemian in the victory.
His two TD night matches his total from a year ago.
The undrafted wideout seems to have chemistry with Siemian and could be a gem Denver was looking for.
What can be said about defensive end Shelby Harris, the man is slowly becoming a media darling and a fan favorite here in the Mile High City. Harris went from only a futures contract to hero in one short summer; Monday night’s game-winning play is just another notch on the belt that is the love fans have for this former Raider.
While lining up for a potential game-tying field goal, Chargers’ kicker Younghoe Koo lined up from 44 yards out with just seconds left on the clock and drilled it through the uprights—just as Joseph called his second timeout. After being iced, Koo gave it another shot and kicked it right into the hand of an outstretched Harris. Harris said after the win that he and teammate Derek Wolfe used the timeout to plan for the block and knew that one of them would succeed.
“It feels great to do anything to help the team win,” he said later. “It’s not about the individual glory. It takes two to do that though, and so I couldn’t have done it without Wolfe though. That’s a big moment right there.”