Denver Broncos Hold On To Beat San Diego Chargers 28-20


Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) celebrates with Denver Broncos interim head coach Jack Del Rio following a win against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. The Broncos won 28-20. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

The Denver Broncos got a divisional win on the road, but they didn’t exactly keep John Fox’s surgically repaired ticker stress free.

The Broncos jumped out to a 28-6 lead over the San Diego Chargers right after halftime, and were able to hold on with a 28-20 win.

No matter how long the Chargers held onto the ball (38:03)) or how well they ran (131 yards), someone should have sent Mike McCoy a memo telling him that field goals don’t fly against this high-powered Broncos offense. He should know that. As former offensive coordinator for the team, he helped develop this well-oiled machine.

Peyton Manning had another stellar day with four touchdowns on 25-for-36 passing for 330 yards (135.2 rtg.). His favorite target was Demaryius Thomas, who became the first Bronco in ten years to have three receiving touchdowns in a game. He also added 108 yards on 7 receptions.

The hiccups in “Operation: Beat the Bolts” include a strip sack on Manning in the third quarter that led to the Chargers’ first touchdown of the game, followed by a Ryan Mathews 1-yard touchdown run that put the Chargers within a score.

However, the biggest cause for concern in the end was the fact that trainers ran out to Manning during the final drive of the game. Manning appeared to have tweaked an ankle after being tackled. He remained in the game, but limped his way through the final minute. Expect a delayed Broncos plane out of San Diego this evening due to Manning spending extra time alternating between the cold and hot tubs.

The Broncos were able to contain Philip Rivers, who was held to 19-of-29 passing for 218 yards and one touchdown. It was a solid defensive effort for the Broncos, who sacked Rivers four times and had seven tackles for a loss.

As the Chargers were trying to tie the game, Von Miller sacked Rivers for a 2-yard loss and then Chris Harris broke up a third-down pass ended for Eddie Royal to force the Chargers to punt.

With the win, owner Pat Bowlen has become the first owner in pro football history to reach 300 wins in a three-decade span.

Yes, this win was expected, but it still feels good to have a divisional road game in the rearview mirror. Up next is a prime time game against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs in the Mile High. This is exactly where the Broncos can make up some ground and make a statement to the rest of the league.

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