NFL Game Summary - Denver at San Diego|
(Sunday, November 10th)
Final Score: Denver 28, San Diego 20
San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Peyton Manning passed for 330 yards and
four touchdowns Sunday and the Denver Broncos held on to get a win under
interim head coach Jack Del Rio.
Manning connected with Demaryius Thomas on three of his touchdown passes and
Julius Thomas took the other one 74 yards, leading the Broncos to a 28-20 win
over the San Diego Chargers in the first of what will likely be several games
without coach John Fox.
After Thomas scored three straight touchdowns to help Denver build a 28-6 lead
in the third quarter, the Chargers got a pair of touchdowns to make it a game
but a final drive ended in a punt.
Manning, who was 25-of-36, helped the Broncos (8-1) kill off the remaining
time with a 9-yard pass to Demaryius Thomas on the left side on 2nd-and-7.
The veteran quarterback came up limping on the play after Chargers defensive
end Corey Liuget tackled him low, but he called a timeout and was able to stay
in the game despite the injury.
Manning, who was reported to be nursing two ankle sprains last month, said he
would have an MRI Monday on his lower body.
"I'm pretty sore," he said. "I felt better coming into the game after the bye
week. ... (But) it was a critical play in the game. They had some momentum. It
was a good aggressive call and a good route by D.T."
Demaryius Thomas finished with seven catches for 108 yards, Julius Thomas had
three grabs for 96 and Knowshon Moreno rushed for 65 yards on 15 carries.
Del Rio, the Denver defensive coordinator, is serving as interim coach while
Fox recovers from successful aortic heart valve replacement. He faced former
Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who was hired by the Chargers as
head coach in January.
Philip Rivers threw for 218 yards with a touchdown pass to Danny Woodhead, and
Ryan Mathews carried 14 times for 59 yards and a score for the Chargers (4-5),
who were coming off a tough loss to the Redskins last week. They settled for a
tying field goal at the end of regulation despite having a first down at the
Redskins' 1-yard line.
They lost this one despite holding the ball for more than 38 minutes to just
under 22 minutes for Denver.
"We kept battling and made it a one-score game and had a chance," said Rivers.
"Our defense gave us enough opportunities."
The Broncos, fresh off a bye, were averaging 42.9 points per game -- by far
the best rate in the NFL, though it took a dip after this one.
It's unclear exactly how much time they will be without Fox, who was taken to
the hospital last Saturday after feeling lightheaded during a golf outing in
A surgery Fox planned to have in the offseason was pushed up when testing
revealed he needed it as soon as possible and the Broncos said he would miss
"It was a nice afternoon to secure a game ball for coach Fox, who is resting
at home. We were glad to do that," said Del Rio. "I talked to him this
morning. He's got a lot of energy, he's feeling good."
After Demaryius Thomas' third touchdown, the Broncos offense went suddenly
quiet as San Diego made it a game with a pair of scores.
After Chargers linebacker Tourek Williams strip-sacked Manning for a fumble
that Donald Butler recovered, Rivers found Woodhead for a 7-yard touchdown.
Mathews capped a 60-yard drive with a 1-yard score, leaping from several yards
out and stretching the tip of the ball over the goal line to get the Chargers
within 28-20 early in the fourth quarter.
It was San Diego's first rushing touchdown at home since Sept. 16, 2012.
After Denver punted for a third straight time, Rivers and the Chargers got the
ball back with 6:43 remaining and converted a 3rd-and-12 on Vincent Brown's
leaping catch, but ended up punting.
Manning, after he was hurt, could be heard yelling, "I called a timeout!" to
officials -- ensuring he would be able to remain in the game. The 9-yard pass
to Thomas had already all but ensured Denver's win but the Broncos got another
first down anyway.
"We made enough plays to close it out," said Del Rio. "Not everything exactly
how you like it, but I thought (it was) a good gutty effort on the road and a
good divisional win."
Earlier, Julius Thomas caught Manning's pass a few yards in front of the line
and raced down the right sideline on his 74-yard touchdown reception 5:42 into
Nick Novak kicked field goals from 26 and 40 yards in the second quarter for
the Chargers before Demaryius Thomas scored his three touchdowns.
The fourth-year Broncos receiver stretched to get the ball inside the right
pylon as he was going out of bounds on an 11-yard catch and he got inside
corner Shareece Wright for a 7-yard touchdown with 13 seconds remaining in the
In between, Novak missed a 37-yard field goal try wide left and the Broncos
led 21-6 going into the break.
"Against good teams like this you have to finish drives with touchdowns," said
Demaryius Thomas scored his third touchdown on a screen pass he caught on the
left side. Finding a seam, he slipped through the heart of the Chargers
defense down the middle of the field to make it 28-6 on the first drive of the
The Broncos are home against Kansas City next Sunday. The Chiefs, on a bye
this week, lead the AFC West with a 9-0 record ... The Chargers play at Miami
11/10 22:09:06 ET