The Chargers led 26-10 in the fourth quarter, and looked like they would cruise to an easy win in Denver. Then Tim Tebow came in, staged about two-thirds of a legendary comeback, and left the Broncos with a 29-24 loss that may mean as much to their fans as the win does to San Diego partisans.
The Chargers got the typical brilliance from Philip Rivers in the victory: 250 yards and a touchdown through the air, and a touchdown run to go with it. Ryan Mathews' 24 carries for 125 yards helped, too, as did the San Diego defense's suffocation of Denver's Kyle Orton, who was benched at halftime after throwing for just 34 yards in the first two quarters.
Tebow changed that, but mostly with his legs: after two failed third quarter drives, he ran twice for 23 yards and a touchdown on the Broncos' first fourth quarter touchdown drive, then found Knowshon Moreno on a screen pass to draw the Broncos within two points at 26-24.
And after a Nick Novak field goal pushed San Diego's lead to five points at 29-24, Tebow found Brandon Lloyd and Daniel Fells to get the Broncos into Chargers territory despite Denver not having any timeouts remaining.
Tebow's Hail Mary fell incomplete, but that may be largely forgotten; Tebow whirling away from at least two sacks on that final play and firing a pass into the end zone on the run may be unforgettable for Broncos fans who have been pining for a savior at quarterback since John Elway's retirement.
Chargers fans, on the other hand, need only remember the final score.
With the win, the Chargers are now 4-1 on the season. The Broncos fell to 1-4 with the loss.
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