By Ross Everett
The Denver Broncos are for real. The NFL’s most surprising undefeated team certainly answered any remaining doubters on Monday Night Football as they used a fourth quarter surge to put away the San Diego Chargers 34-23. Denver upped their record to 6-0 while San Diego dropped to 2-3. Denver’s special teams also excelled, with Eddie Royal becoming only the 11th player in NFL history to return a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns in the same game.
NFL football sports betting fans that backed the Broncos as +3 road underdogs were rewarded with the outright victory and Denver continued their season opening undefeated run against the pointspread (now 6-0 ATS). The Chargers, meanwhile, have only covered one of their five games this season.
Royal was virtually untouched on both of his kick returns, a first quarter 93 yard kickoff return and a second quarter 71 yard punt return. After the game, he gave credit to his blockers:
“Man, it was a great feeling. The guys did a great job of blocking. I’ve got to give them a lot of credit. They opened up the seams and it was a home run.”
Despite the rarity of his feat, he said he wasn’t surprised that he turned the trick:
“You’ve got to believe it can happen before you do it. I’ve got a lot of faith in the guys in front of me, so I wasn’t surprised.”
Broncos coach Josh McDaniels also praised Royal’s blockers:
“I think our guys did a great job of blocking and giving Eddie a chance to get started.”
While losing coach Norv Turner lamented his team’s poor kick coverage:
“It doesn’t matter who you are playing; you give up two big returns on a punt and a kickoff and it makes it tough”
Chargers’ QB Phillip Rivers talked about the loss and the team’s slow start to the 2009 NFL season:
“It’s going to be tough. We have to get over this one quick or we’ll find ourselves in trouble in Kansas City because it’s a short week.”
Denver will get a week off to enjoy their 6-0 start before returning to action on November 1 at Baltimore. The following week they’ll host the defending Superbowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football before traveling to Washington, DC to face the Redskins. San Diego will play at Kansas City this weekend. They’ll return home to face their hated rivals, the Oakland Raiders, on November 1 before a road game against the New York Giants the following Sunday. – 26635