Travis Benjamin scores twice for Bolts in win over Broncos
On Sunday during the team’s 21-0 shutout victory over the Denver Broncos, wide receiver and punt returner Travis Benjamin of the Los Angeles Chargers found the endzone two times, scoring on a 42-yard reception and a 65-yard punt return.
On a day which saw the Bolts’ defense blank the Broncos throughout all four quarters of their Week 7 contest, Benjamin made his plays on offense and special teams — the win marks three victories in a row for the Chargers, bringing their record to 3-4 on the year.
Save the fact that Benjamin’s stat-line included a touchdown reception of 42 yards, hearing that he only had one catch on the day might lead one to believe that the speedy wideout didn’t have much of an impact on offense. The fact of the matter is, his touchdown catch with about six minutes left on the clock in the fourth quarter sealed the game for the team donning the powder blue uniforms, and the home-run threat of No. 12 taking the top off of the defense kept the Denver secondary honest throughout the game; meaning that Travis Benjamin affected the game in more ways than the box score will show you.
Though Benjamin’s touchdown snag all but ended the Broncos’ chances of coming back, the former Miami Hurricane’s punt return was no slouch play in its own right. The 65-yard house call on a punt return — highlighted by his tremendous breakaway speed — showed exactly why general manager Tom Telesco signed the six-year veteran to a four-year deal during the 2016 offseason.
For me, the best part of seeing Travis Benjamin return a punt for a touchdown is knowing how much he struggled last year as a punt returner during his first campaign with the Chargers — so much so that he was stripped of the starting punt-returner job early in the year — yet he rebounds this year and takes one to the house in Week 7. Benjamin also had another nice punt return on the day.
With two touchdowns on Sunday, Benjamin has scored three touchdowns through two games against the Broncos in 2017, also hauling in a touchdown pass from Philip Rivers during the team’s Week 1 loss to the Broncos.
On the year, the 27-year-old has tallied 14 receptions for 240 yards and two receiving scores, while returning 15 punts for 164 yards and the aforementioned 65-yard touchdown.