INGLEWOOD, Calif. — For one quarter Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos offense appeared to have turned things around.
Wilson was a perfect 10-of-10 passing for 116 yards and tossed a 39-yard touchdown to rookie tight end Greg Dulcich. The Broncos stormed out to the 10-0 first-quarter advantage. Then the offense started to unravel and revert back to what we’ve seen from them the previous five games.
Wilson completed just five passes after the first quarter as the Broncos lost 19-16 Monday night in overtime to the Los Angeles Chargers.
Denver gained 19 yards in the third quarter. Wilson had only two completions for 10 yards in the fourth quarter and overtime. Denver’s offense produced 53 total yards in the fourth quarter and overtime.
“We could have been cleaner in the second half. I think the reality is that, that is not good enough, and we have to be better. We have to play sharper, find ways to make plays and find a way to make plays get first downs and touchdowns,” Wilson said. “We have to answer the call. Adversity is definitely challenging us right now, but the only way I know to get through it is to continue to work hard and to believe.”
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The Broncos dropped to 2-4 on the season due to their lackluster offense.
Denver’s defense snapped Justin Herbert’s 26-game streak with at least one touchdown pass and held the Chargers’ offense to 3.6 yards per play. However, the offense and a muffed punt let the Broncos down.
Sure, the Broncos miss running back Javonte Williams (knee), wide receiver Tim Patrick (knee) and left tackle Garett Bolles (fibula) who are all out for the year. But the offensive performance and lack of execution on Monday night was inexcusable. It has plagued the Broncos all season.
“We have to be better on offense. As a coaching staff, we are going to put our head down,” Broncos first-year coach Nathaniel Hackett said. “It is very disappointing. …They are disappointed, I am disappointed. We have to look from within.”
The Broncos must look from within expeditiously if they hope to turn around a season that’s teetering on the brink.
The Broncos hired Hackett and traded for Wilson to ignite the offense. But the two have largely been disappointments through six games. The Broncos are at the bottom of the league red zone efficiency and points per game. Wilson is on pace for career-lows in both completion percentage and passer rating.
“Ultimately, there are a lot of things we have to fix,” Wilson said. “We are in a tough situation, and we can come out of it if we have a tough mindset and a good work ethic.”
Wilson typically signs off his postgame press conferences with the phrase, “Broncos Country let’s ride.” Yet thus far, it’s been a slow and rocky six-game pilgrimage.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Tyler Dragon on Twitter @TheTylerDragon.