DENVER –The Broncos knew the Chargers were going to come out swinging. Denver just had to weather the storm.
In the end the Broncos held on to win 30-23 to improve to 7-3 overall and more importantly take a big lead in the AFC West.
The game started out ugly for quarterback Peyton Manning. He and his receivers had some timing issues early and San Diego’s defense was first to score with a tipped interception run back by Eric Weddle.
This was Manning’s 22nd interception return for a touchdown allowed in his career.
San Diego held a touchdown lead into the beginning of the second quarter until Manning hooked up with Demaryius Thomas for a 20 yard touchdown.
Manning passed Dan Marino with 421 touchdown passes on the NFL’s all-time TD list.
Denver’s defense came through in the next series with an interception by Wesley Woodyard.
The Broncos later added a field goal to lead 10-7 early in the second quarter.
Not much could be said about San Diego ‘s offense. Phillip Rivers struggled to complete third down passes due to his constant harassment by linebacker Von Miller and the Denver defensive line.
Denver’s special teams also had a hand in this game thanks to a blocked punt by Nate Irving and the very next play resulted in a score when Manning connected with Brandon Stokley for a 31-yard touchdown.
The Broncos led 17-7 at the half.
Denver’s defense continued to give Rivers problems much of the second half.
Von Miller finished the game with three sacks and two forced fumbles.
Manning also added a late touchdown pass to Eric Decker to seal the deal late in the third quarter.
Manning finished the day with 270 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception.
In the end, the Broncos sweep the season series with this 30-23 victory over the Chargers and this would mark the first time in seven years they have accomplished this feat.
Denver now holds the tie breaker with San Diego and also has a four game lead in the AFC West.