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5 takeaways from the Broncos’ 24-21 win over the Chargers

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The Chargers had two chances to win or tie and couldn’t get the job done.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

A furious rally for the Los Angeles Chargers came up short Monday night, and the Denver Broncos held on to an early lead to win 24-21 in Week 1.

The game looked well in Denver’s control at the beginning of the fourth quarter as the Broncos piled up a 24-7 lead, but a pair of turnovers turned into immediate touchdowns and suddenly it was a three-point game for the final minutes of the ESPN doubleheader.

But Los Angeles spoiled its final first chances to drive for a game-winning touchdown or game-tying field goal, and the second drive ended with a 44-yard field goal attempt for Younghoe Koo — an awesome rookie from South Korea — that was blocked.

Here are five takeaways from the second Monday Night Football game of Week 1:

The Broncos defense still looked good but had lapses

It’s not shocking that Denver had a strong defensive showing after finishing with a top five defense in each of the last three years. But with players like DeMarcus Ware, T.J. Ward, Vance Walker, and Sylvester Williams all gone, it’s impressive that the Broncos looked good.

But the team did have some uncharacteristic lapses, including a blown coverage that allowed a 38-yard touchdown from quarterback Philip Rivers to Travis Benjamin that gave the Chargers life.

Prior to the fourth quarter, it was a slow grind for the Chargers with both Rivers and Melvin Gordon struggling to keep the team moving. That’s a good sign for the Broncos moving forward, although the defense will have to do a better job at keeping the big play in check.

Trevor Siemian had a strong night because everything is backward

Season two of Stranger Things is less than two months away from premiering, but the upside down has already struck the NFL. After the first week of the regular season, the highest-rated quarterbacks in the league are none of the usual suspects.

So I guess we all should’ve expected that Siemian would have a good start to 2017 as well.

It wasn’t a game with the ridiculous stats that Alex Smith or Sam Bradford put up. But Siemian was efficient, threw two touchdown passes, ran one in, and his only interception of the day was a goofy tip drill that bounced off two shoes.

He certainly could’ve done a better job closing out the night for the Broncos, but Siemian finished with a 94.1 passer rating and that’s a number Denver can be happy with.

Philip Rivers is still the king of NFL gifs

It was a rough night for Rivers. It wasn’t close to the “worst day ever” but still one that the Chargers quarterback will want to forget.

He finished with 192 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception, but he didn’t crack 100 passing yards until the fourth quarter and couldn’t quite get the job done when the Chargers needed him most.

He did, however, add another comical gif to his long list of hilarious moments:

Thank you to Rivers for being the hilarious slapstick quarterback that he is.

Nope, that’s not Vance Joseph

The Broncos have a new coach, but ESPN was still trying to figure out which person on the Denver sideline was the one in charge:

Shout out to the ESPN producer who realized the mistake fractions of a second after the broadcast made it.

There was no problem identifying first-year head coach Anthony Lynn on the other sideline.

Beth Mowins and Sergio Dipp did great

It’s not easy to impress anyone as an announcer. Just the fact that people didn’t call en masse on social media for Tony Romo to be fired was considered a huge success for CBS.

So it’s really not surprising that fans complained about the job done by Beth Mowins. But she faced the pressure of being the first woman to do play-by-play on an NFL game in 30 years and did a great job Monday night.

Sergio Dipp also did well in his job as sideline reporter, even if he was nervous and awkward early in the game. He’s spent most of his career with the network on ESPN Deportes, so the chance to be on an ESPN Monday Night Football broadcast was a big one and he came away a star.