Two head coaching debuts, and the first woman to call a nationally-televised NFL game made Monday night historic.
The Broncos opened up their 2017-2018 campaign at home against the Los Angeles Chargers Monday night as part of an ESPN Monday Night Football double-header.
The first Monday night game was played in Minnesota, where the Vikings defeated the New Orleans Saints 29-19 behind quarterback Sam Bradford. Bradford went 27-for-32 for 346 yards and three touchdowns.
After a stiff offseason starting quarterback competition, Trevor Siemian took the field and led the Broncos to a 24-21 victory over Phillip Rivers and the Chargers.
Siemian went 17-for-28 for 181 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
The first of Siemian’s touchdowns came with less than five minutes to go in the first quarter. A five-yard pass to wide receiver Bennie Fowler resulted in the Broncos taking a 7-0 lead.
But just five seconds in to the second quarter, the Chargers tied things up on an 11-yard pass from Rivers to running back Melvin Gordon.
Siemian’s second touchdown was a one-yard rush with five minutes to go in the half, giving the Broncos the 14-7 lead at the break.
Rivers was 22-for-33 for 185 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
Things got a little shaky for Denver in the fourth quarter with an interception by Siemian and a fumble by offseason acquisition Jamal Charles, both resulting in Chargers touchdowns.
The Chargers attempted a field goal to tie the game, and if not for the Broncos late timeout, the game would have gone into overtime.
Both teams begin the season with brand new head coaches with the Broncos Vance Joseph and the Chargers Anthony Lynn, who played as running back for the Broncos in 1993 and from 1997 until 1999. Joseph came out on top with the victory.
Not only did the game bring the Broncos to a 1-0 record to start the season, but it also made history when Beth Mowins became the first female to call a nationally televised NFL game. She was joined in Denver by former New York Jets coach Rex Ryan.
The Broncos game concluded the first week of the NFL season, and week two will kick off in Cincinnati when the Bengals take on the Houston Texans at 6 p.m. Thursday.
The Broncos stay home for a battle with the Dallas Cowboys at 2:25 p.m. Sunday.