Third-and-9 from the San Diego 35: After San Diego started their first possession with a first down on the second play from scrimmage, the Broncos ended the drive before it could gain momentum when linebacker Wesley Woodyard hit Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers as he released a third-down pass, forcing it to fall harmlessly incomplete.
Third-and-1 from the Denver 46: San Diego had good field position after a missed Matt Prater 55-yard field goal attempt. That didn’t matter for the Broncos defense as it forced a three-and-out capped by Woodyard’s 1-yard tackle for a loss on third-and-one.
Third-and-5 from the San Diego 36: With the Denver offense still looking for its first points, quarterback Peyton Manning found an open Matthew Willis and the receiver turned upfield for a 10-yard gain that extended the drive. Two plays later Manning hit wide receiver Demaryius Thomas for a 13-yard touchdown to tie the score 7-7.
First-and-10 from the San Diego 20: On the first play of the ensuing Chargers drive, Woodyard stepped in front of a Rivers pass for his third interception of the season. The linebacker returned the pick 25 yards to the San Diego 8-yard line to set up a Matt Prater field goal.
Third-and-12 from the San Diego 49: After San Diego started the second half with an onside kick recovery, the Denver defense stood its ground and forced a three-and-out. On third down, Von Miller broke into the backfield and dropped Rivers for a 6-yard loss and forced a fumble that the Chargers recovered.
Third-and-4 from the San Diego 46: Miller struck again on third down, sacking Rivers and forcing a fumble for a second time in the third quarter. Woodyard recovered and returned it to the San Diego 25. Three plays later, the Broncos found the end zone on Manning’s 20-yard pass to wide receiver Eric Decker to put the team ahead 24-9.
Kickoff from the San Diego 35: The second Chargers onside kick attempt of the half wasn’t a surprise and wasn’t successful as tight end Virgil Green fell on the loose ball to give Denver a chance to run out the clock. Denver was held to a three-and-out, turning the ball back to San Diego with 30 seconds to play.
2nd-and-6 from the San Diego 17: Just like the Chargers’ last snap of the team’s previous matchup in Week 6, Elvis Dumervil ended the game by strip-sacking Rivers. The sack came with 17 seconds left on the clock and despite Rivers’ recovery of the fumble, time ran out to give Denver the win.