Third-and-16 from the 50: What began as a third-and-1 turned into a third-and-16 thanks to a false start then a holding penalty against the Broncos. In the end, it didn’t matter as quarterback Peyton Manning found Tight End Jacob Tamme open down the sidelie for a 25-yard gain. Four plays later, Manning hit wide receiver Eric Decker for a 7-yard touchdown to bring Denver to within a field goal at 24-21 early in the fourth quarter.
Third-and-8 from the San Diego 31: Trying to add to the Chargers’ slim lead, quarterback Philip Rivers dropped back to pass. But, cornerback Tony Carter stepped in front of his intended target, Robert Meachem, to come up with his first career interception. After a 15-yard return to midfield, the Broncos offense took its first lead of the night when Manning connected with wide receiver Brandon Stokley from 21 yards out to give Denver a 28-24 lead with 9:03 to play in the game.
Third-and-7 from the Denver 41: With the Chargers driving into Denver territory looking to retake the lead, cornerback Chris Harris intercepted Rivers’ pass intended for Eddie Royal. The pick stopped San Diego’s scoring threat and gave the ball back to the Broncos offense.
Fourth-and-16 from the San Diego 41: Any hopes of a miraculous comeback by the Chargers were put to rest when defensive end Elvis Dumervil strip-sacked Rivers for the second time of the game. Safety Mike Adams pounced on the loose ball and two Manning kneeldowns later, the Broncos were headed home with the victory.