As the Broncos and Chargers played into overtime Sunday, the game became a battle of endurance.
And as the game wore on, the Broncos physical style both offensively in the run game and defensively with a furious pass-rush eventually pushed them past San Diego.
On ‘Elway Live’ today, Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway talked about that physical style of play that ultimately led to hard-fought victory.
“Anytime that our guys now feel like we’re in the game,” Elway said, “they are going to outlast the other team because of the physical nature we play with on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.”
“We outlasted them.”
Quarterback Tim Tebow ran the ball 22 times and running back Willis McGahee carried 23 times as Denver began to wear down the Chargers’ front.
The fatal blow came in the closing minutes of overtime, when McGahee broke free for a 24-yard gain up the middle, setting up Matt Prater’s 37-yard, game-winning field goal.
McGahee had been bottled up throughout much of the day by the San Diego defense, but late in the contest, McGahee showed great burst and power as he ran through arm tackles and into Chargers’ territory.
“That is what he’s all about,” Elway said. “He can take a lot of punishment and when people are hitting him he’s also handing out a lot of punishment.”
A key play from linebacker Von Miller earlier in the overtime session was another proud moment for Elway, who said the rookie with 10 sacks is “still scratching the surface”.
As the Chargers tried to position themselves for the game-winning field goal on third down in overtime, Miller shot through a gap and stopped Mike Tolbert for a 4-yard loss –- turning the ensuing field goal try into a 53-yard attempt that Nick Novak failed to convert.
“The bottom line is great players make great plays in tough situations and I think that we’ve seen that with Von all year,” Elway said. “That was a tremendous play.”
According to Elway, Miller’s play was another prime example of a defense that’s playing with more confidence and that’s resulting in big plays in crucial times.
“They feel comfortable. They aren’t having to think about what their assignments are,” Elway said. “They are able to call the defense, get lined up and then react to the play that they see coming. Football players playing with their instincts and just going – that’s what we’re seeing.”
“They’re flying around and making plays.”
To listen to this week’s show or any previous ‘Elway Live’ podcast, click here.