Chargers lose the turnover battle once again in loss to Broncos

Quarterback Philip Rivers during the second half of the Chargers' loss to Denver.
Philip Rivers reacts during the second half of the Chargers’ 23-20 loss to Denver on Sunday.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

The Chargers lost another game and another turnover battle Sunday, continuing a theme that has been woven into their disappointing 4-8 showing.

Quarterback Philip Rivers was intercepted for the eighth time in three games and the 15th time overall this season, and Troymaine Pope muffed a punt that Denver recovered.

Those two miscues led to 10 Broncos points in a game that ended 23-20 in Denver’s favor.


Including his two lost fumbles, Rivers now has 17 giveaways as the Chargers have reached minus-10 in turnover ratio.

His pickoff Sunday came when rookie defensive end Dre’Mont Jones backed out of his pass rush and intercepted a screen meant for Austin Ekeler. Denver scored a touchdown six plays later.

“It was a good play by him,” Rivers said. “But those are a little bit unlucky. Other than that, we took care of the football, and we did some things moving it. At the end of the day, the offense’s job is to score more points than the other team and we didn’t do that.”

Mike Williams had 117 yards on five receptions, his second career 100-yard game, including spectacular 38-yard catch on fourth and 11 down the stretch.

Dec. 1, 2019

The Chargers have won the turnover battle just twice this season, in victories over Miami and Chicago. They have nine giveaways and only two takeaways over their past three games.

The points-off-turnovers helped the Broncos score enough on a day when they had four three-and-outs, punted five times and managed only 218 yards of total offense.


The good news for the Chargers on Sunday was the defense did generate a turnover when linebacker Denzel Perryman intercepted rookie quarterback Drew Lock in the fourth quarter.

Before that, the Chargers had produced only one turnover since Week 8.

Somewhat fittingly, though, Perryman’s play led to no points. The Chargers stalled on their subsequent possession.

On third down, Rivers took a sack that resulted in a five-yard loss. Michael Badgley’s 55-yard field goal attempt then hooked and hit the left upright.