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Dublin: 13 °C Monday 21 May, 2018

Broncos hold off Chargers to give coach Joseph first win, while Bradford rips Saints to shreds

The Denver Broncos held on to claim a 24-21 win over the Los Angeles Chargers in the NFL on Monday.

PHILIP RIVERS AND the Los Angeles Chargers made things interesting late in Monday’s AFC West showdown with the Broncos, but the Denver defense came up big with the game on the line to seal a 24-21 victory.

Chargers Broncos Football Source: Jack Dempsey

Trailing 24-7 entering the fourth quarter, the Chargers rallied for 14 points in just over two minutes as the Broncos offense managed just 13 plays in the final 11 minutes, 58 seconds of the game.

Four Broncos drives resulted in an interception, fumble, missed field goal and a punt, giving the Chargers every opportunity to rally for their first win since relocating to Los Angeles after last season.

Down three points, Rivers led the Chargers on a two-minute drill to the Broncos’ 26-yard line with two seconds remaining, setting up a potential game-tying field goal from kicker Koo Young-hoe. Broncos head coach Vance Joseph iced the rookie kicker with a timeout, then enjoyed his first career NFL coaching win as Shelby Harris blocked the second attempt.

Joseph’s decision to start Trevor Siemian over Paxton Lynch as the Broncos starting quarterback paid dividends early. Siemian was accurate with his passes and made great decisions, even scrambling in for the Broncos’ second TD of the game.

In the fourth quarter however, the entire Broncos offense was stagnant. Their best fourth-quarter sequence was a five-play, 43-yard drive which ended in a missed 50-yard field goal from Brian McManus.

Siemian finished 17-of-28 passing with 219 yards, two touchdowns and one interception but was sacked four times, including twice in consecutive plays before McManus’ missed FG.

Minnesota Vikings vs New Orleans Saints Source: Carlos Gonzalez

In the night’s other game, Sam Bradford dominated to lead the Minnesota Vikings to a 29-19 win over the New Orleans Saints in the NFL on Monday.

Bradford, who set a single-season completion record last season, was nearly flawless in the first regular-season game at U.S. Bank Stadium, host of Super Bowl LII.

The former number one overall pick was 27-of-32 passing for 346 yards and three touchdowns as the Vikings spoiled Adrian Peterson’s return to Minnesota.

Bradford looked more like Drew Brees in the pocket, leading the Vikings on a three-play, 74-yard touchdown drive and 10-play 95-yard touchdown drive late in the second quarter to give the Vikings a 16-6 half-time lead.

Bradford, who became just the second Vikings QB to throw for at least 300 yards and three TDs in a season opener, capped both drives with touchdown passes to Stefon Diggs, who was honouring Vikings great Randy Moss with a special pair of purple cleats.

NFL Monday Night Football results

Denver Broncos 24 Los Angeles Chargers 21
Minnesota Vikings 29 New Orleans Saints 19

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