But there are a couple of problems with this pivot. First, the Chargers are emerging as the most consistent choke artists in professional sports, having gagged up sixteen-point-plus leads in four consecutive games. And for nearly three-quarters of the contest, Lock seemed so inept that dyspeptic-looking coach Vic Fangio was probably in the midst of deciding whether he should yank his starter in favor of backup Brett Rypien or simply commit ritual seppuku on national TV when the tide finally started to turn.
What changed? A spark was provided by running back Phillip Lindsay, who finally broke through the Chargers' line in the third and discovered acres of running room; 55 yards later, the Broncos' deficit had been sliced to 24-10. Lock's next chance to trim the lead ended in an interception, but Chargers rookie QB Justin Herbert, who'd looked much better than his Denver rival up to that point, tossed a pick of his own, and the Broncos actually capitalized by way of a scoring hurl to Albert Okwuegbunam.
Another TD to DaeSean Hamilton followed, and while the Chargers moved the ball between these payoffs, they managed only a pair of field goals, opening the door for Lock — and thanks to a (legitimate) (and moronic) interference penalty in the end zone, he had a chance for victory on the final play. With a subsequent assist from the ass of KJ Hamler, which landed just inside the field of play after he snagged a throw from Lock, the Broncos had their third happy ending of the season.
Lock began excelling when he had time in the pocket — a metric that improved immeasurably after Chargers defensive beast Joey Bosa went out with an apparent concussion and Broncos lineman Garett "Giant Bust" Bolles stopped trying to live up to his all-too-appropriate nickname, Garett Holds. Such a fortunate series of events is tough to repeat, but there's still good news for the Broncos: Their next game is against the Atlanta Falcons, who are even more famous for blowing leads than the Chargers.
Continue to see our favorite tweets on the choking debate.
Wooooooo!!!! BRONCOS WIN RIGHT AT THE BUZZER!!! THE CHARGERS JUST CHOKED ONCE AGAIN!!! WHAT A GAME!!! Broncos did a GREAT JOB handling adversity and not ever giving up despite a bad start!!! LET'S GOOO!!! ONTO ATLANTA!!! #BroncosCountry #DB4L #NFL #Comeback #adversity #win pic.twitter.com/ozP42V05t7— TheBoss (@ThebossE14) November 2, 2020
The amount of Broncos fans who think they won because their team is good.... really? Notice how your team sucked every other game this season. Notice your opponent has blown large leads consistently the past few games. The Broncos still suck, the Chargers just choked. Sit down.— Aidan Clemenson (@Aidan_Clemenson) November 2, 2020
Wow Chargers choked again— Heat/Eagles 3-4-1 (@Yeezy77_) November 2, 2020
so after the chargers choked, can we start mocking them too— Pat Thomas (@superb_pat) November 2, 2020
Herbert, like he has all season, showed finesse. He’s so much fun to watch.— CHAMPION TODDGERS (@ToddFather97) November 2, 2020
Lock, flashed his fastball and his confidence. Something Broncos fans have been waiting for all year.
Throw in Mahomes and the AFC West QB matchups could be fun to watch for many, many years.
Saw this from a chargers fan and I almost choked to death from laughing pic.twitter.com/ihEV4RAt7m— Chris (@cjkrier) November 2, 2020
Lock makes all the throws Herbert does, he doesn’t get any credit. Yet Broncos fans who hate lock wet themselves over Herbert. Lock just beat him and basically outplayed him. Good for drew.— William the Kid (@williamthekid19) November 2, 2020
Chargers choked away a 4th qtr lead again. Its funny they do the same shit now that they did when I used to care so much. #itsstilleffthedonkeys LOL— Lito Pajimula (@coach_paj619) November 2, 2020
Denver just rallied to beat the Chargers 31-30. Anthony Lynn may be in trouble. His team chokes like a Georgia team.— starblazer (@01Starblazer) November 2, 2020
Chargers have legit choked like every loss this year lmao https://t.co/thYGzu4CM0— XpertFusion (@xpertfusion3) November 2, 2020
THE FUCKIN' CHARGERS CHOKED?! BRUH. #LACvsDEN— Mikey Bats (@MikeJBknows) November 2, 2020
Broncos fans are spoiled. We had Elway and Manning. We see Mahomes, Herbert, Jackson, etc., and expect greatness immediately. I'm willing to bet on Lock and give him 2 full years. That's the only way to be sure. The carousel has to stop or we will end being the Browns.— Phil (@moneybanks3) November 2, 2020
Nobody chokes away games like the Chargers. That was disgusting.— ? Eddie Balderrama ????????? (@EddieBeast50) November 2, 2020
San Diego chargers .... y’all are complete shit .. y’all choked !!complete breakdown .. I’m glad Philip rivers left you bums .. Complete bums— Moon Dogg (@cochiloco_LTD) November 2, 2020
he sucks, the chargers just suck more we would’ve choked against anyone https://t.co/j36IsAqhQM— fre$hy (@maseeee13) November 2, 2020
The chargers fucking choked lmao. There’s regular choking, there’s Atlanta falcons level of choking, and then there’s what just happened— NoNutNovember2k20CovidEdition #HIVESZN (@SaulCardenas35) November 2, 2020
the chargers CHOKED how do you let Denver come back like that— KP (@kirstinplourde) November 2, 2020
Bro Broncos fans can ridicule us all they want, like we know our team is ass, our coaches suck, like we know, but to say lock is better than Herbert is the funniest shit ever— (@Sixteenhundo) November 2, 2020