The Denver Broncos defeated the San Diego Chargers, 30-23, on Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo. Broncos' quarterback Peyton Manning threw three touchdown passes in the victory.
While Manning had the Broncos' offense executing regularly, Denver's defense may have stolen the show, especially in the first half when it held the Chargers to two first downs and 54 yards of offense. The Broncos also forced three turnovers and blocked a punt in the game.
Chargers' quarterback Philip Rivers was responsible for each of those turnovers, throwing two interceptions and fumbling the football while being sacked by Broncos linebacker Von Miller. Miller had three sacks and two forced fumbles in the game.
Manning's performance complemented his defense well, as the veteran signal-caller completed passes to nine different receivers. Each of his touchdown passes went to different receivers as well, with Demaryius Thomas, Brandon Stokley and Eric Decker getting in on the action.
With the win, the 7-3 Broncos now have a three-game lead over the 4-6 Chargers in the AFC West.
Manning completed 25-of-42 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns. While his completion percentage was his lowest since the Broncos' loss to the Houston Texans in Week 3, he was still by far the best individual offensive performer in the game.
Chargers' running back Ryan Mathews was questionable coming into the game with a neck injury, and it may have limited his performance. Mathews gained just 47 yards on 15 carries and did not find the end zone.
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Did they cover?
The Broncos entered the game as 8½-point favorites. A late touchdown by the Chargers kept Denver from covering.
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For the Broncos, running back Willis McGahee (leg) and cornerback Omar Bolden (concussion) did not return after suffering injuries. As for the Chargers, wide receiver Eddie Royal (hamstring), linebacker Larry English (leg) and left guard Tyronne Green (hamstring) also missed the remainder of the game after limping off the field.
The Broncos will hit the road to face the woeful Kansas City Chiefs in Week 12, while the Chargers will return home to take on the Baltimore Ravens.