Costly muffed punt seals overtime loss to Chargers


In the Broncos’ 19-16 overtime loss to the Chargers on Monday night, a special teams miscue in overtime set Los Angeles up for the winning field goal. Here’s a breakdown of what happened.

The situation: With 4:57 left in overtime, both offenses were stuck in neutral as Los Angeles punted the ball away on fourth-and-9 from its own 20-yard line. It was the fourth punt of overtime.

The formation: Standard punt formation.

The play call: The Broncos brought some pressure on Chargers punter and Mullen alum JK Scott, but sent most of their blockers downfield to set up for the return.

The result: Scott boomed the punt about 60 yards with more than five seconds of hang time. As a result of the high, arching punt, Broncos core special teamer P.J. Locke had sufficient time to sprint down the field and set up to block around the Denver 33-yard line, where returner Montrell Washington was coming up the field, tracking the punt and calling for a fair catch.

With Locke and Washington within one yard of each other and Locke face-to-face with the Chargers’ Ja’Sir Taylor, Taylor perfectly timed a shove of Locke into Washington as the returner was about to field the punt. The ball hit off Washington’s leg — his second muff of the game — and was recovered by the Chargers’ Deane Leonard.


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