The Broncos were doing it again. They were digging themselves into what seemed like an insurmountable hole against a top tier team on their way to a disappointing 2-4 record to start the season. Down 24 points at halftime, the Broncos stormed back with one of the greatest comebacks the NFL has ever seen. Denver cruised to a 35-0 second half advantage behind Peyton Manning’s arm and a very opportunistic defense; they’ve evened their record to 3-3 on the year, and now thanks to this comeback, own an early lead of first place in the AFC West.
After consecutive punts to start the game, the Chargers struck first blood with a Nick Novak field goal. On the ensuing kickoff, Oman Bolden lost the ball, giving great field position to the Chargers. Rivers and the offense made quick work of the gift, scoring in two plays on a Rivers to Gates TD strike to extend the lead to 10-0. After strong defensive play by both teams, the Broncos looked as though they were about to score their first points on the game on a long Manning strike to Eric Decker. However, Decker tripped himself up, turning what looked like was a sure TD into merely a long completion. Three plays later from the Charger 20, Manning threw a terrible pass that Quentin Jammer took all the way back 80 yards to put the Chargers in a commanding 17-0 lead. After the Broncos responded with a quick three and out, Rivers hit Gates for their second hook up of the half to cap off a dominant half of football, giving the Chargers a 24-0 lead at intermission.
As they’ve done all season long, the Broncos faced their humongous deficit head on, refusing to give up without a fight. Manning and the offense found the end zone for the first time all night on their opening possession, as Manning hit Demaryious Thomas for a 29 yard score to cut the Charger’s lead to 24-7. The Chargers drove into Denver territory on their next possession, and just when it looked like they were about to extend the lead, Elvis Dumervil sacked Rivers, who lost the ball, and Tony Carter scooped it up and ran it back for a 65 yard TD, making it a 10 point game, and suddenly making things a lot more interesting.
After the Denver defense forced a three and out, Manning and the offense went back to work. After converting a huge 3rd and 16, Manning found Decker for a 7 yard score, and just like that, San Diego’s lead was cut to just three. On the Chargers next possesion, Rivers was picked off by Tony Carter, who returned it 15 yards to midfield. At one point what had seen like an impossibility, the Broncos had a chance to take the lead. Manning finished off the next drive with his third score of the half, this on a sensational throw to old reliable Brandon Stokley, giving the Broncos their first lead of the game 28-24, and sending the entire Qualcomm stadium crowd into complete shock. The Broncos defense took care of the rest, as Chris Harris picked off Rivers two more times, including a 46 yard pick six dagger to cap off their incredible comeback, leaving the Chargers in ruins, and walking out of San Diego with a 35-24 triumph
An effort like this can’t only have one player receive a game ball. Three players get a game ball from last night’s epic comeback. One to Manning, who was brilliant in the second half, going 13/14 for 167 yards and 3 TD’s in the second half. The next one goes to Tony Carter, who had the game changing defensive TD and also added a pick. My final one goes to Chris Harris, who picked off Rivers twice, including one for the game clinching score
About the Author
Written by Alex Summers
Lifelong sports fan, love the NFL, and big fan of a basketball and baseball