It was the tale of two teams, each playing two different halves. In the first half, it was all San Diego all the time. They quickly built a 17-0 lead as the Broncos' special teams fumbled away two returns and Quentin Jammer returned a Peyton Manning interception for a touchdown.
Philip Rivers connected with tight end Antonio Gates twice in the half as they built a 24-0 lead going into half. It was the 50th and 51st career touchdown connection between Rivers and Gates. Gates finished the game with six receptions for 81 yards and two touchdowns.
But then the second half started up. Peyton Manning and the rest of the Denver Broncos went from embarrassing themselves on national TV to embarrassing the San Diego Chargers.
Manning connected with Demaryius Thomas on the opening drive of the half to finally put the Broncos on the board. Then the wheels started to come off of the Chargers.
Rivers was harried under pressure and fumbled the ball away as he went to throw. Cornerback Tony Carter picked up the ball and ran it back 65 yards for a touchdown to cut the lead to 24-14.
It then became Peyton Manning's time to shine.
He connected with Eric Decker and Brandon Stokley for fourth-quarter touchdowns to take the lead at 28-24, throwing 13 straight completions in the process. Decker finished the night with six receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown.
Rivers responded by driving the ball back down the field, connecting with Gates on multiple completions. But, finally, the pressure of the 28 unanswered points became too much and Rivers threw his fourth interception of the night to Chris Harris, who returned it for a touchdown to make it 35 straight points (after the extra point) for the Broncos.
Manning finished the night with 309 yards, an interception and three touchdowns as he brought his team back from the dead. Manning threw only one incomplete pass in the second half.
The Broncos tied the largest comeback in Monday Night Football history, and the Broncos' defense was just as key as Manning. The defense held the Chargers to 134 total yards in the second half and forced a turnover on five of their six second-half drives.