This game started out like most, and then the Broncos took the 21-6 lead into halftime. Because they’re such a phenomenal second half team, it seemed Denver would blow the San Diego Chargers out. But the Broncos barely held on, really, scoring once after the break to win 28-20.
Either way, a win is a win and the Broncos will take it off the crazy bye week they went through
MVP – Demaryius Thomas
This was the greatest game Demaryius Thomas has possibly ever had for the Broncos. Thomas and his modern day “Three Amigos” at receiver did almost nothing in the first half and were led by DT in almost every category. Not only did he have three touchdowns, but each score came in a different way, too. His first was a display of body control to get the ball over the pylon, his second was an outside, inside move and the third came on a bubble screen to cement the victory. He finished with seven catches for 104 yards and three TDs.
LVP – Offensive Line
Simply, Peyton Manning got hit far too often Sunday afternoon. Early on, Chris Clark allowed a Chargers defender to run around him and hit Manning in the back, forcing a fumble along with the sack. Near the end of the game, Manning was again hit, this time it wasn’t for a sack, but could be much more devastating in the end. Manning’s right ankle was grabbed and landed on, and the 37-year old quarterback got up hobbling after the take-down. He’ll have an MRI to determine the extent of the damage.
X-Factor – Denver’s defensive line
From Kevin Vickerson to Shaun Phillips, the Broncos defensive line penetrated into the Chargers’ backfield all day long. Vickerson was a force to be reckoned with all game, getting his hands on Philip Rivers and even batting down a pass. But it was Von Miller, Derek Wolfe, Shaun Phillips and Terrance Knighton that each recorded sacks, four total on Rivers.
Key Stat – Time of Possession
The Chargers nearly doubled up the Broncos in time of possession, 38:03 – 21:57, yet Denver Still won the game by eight points. Julius Thomas’ touchdown came quickly to start the game, and even the team’s three longer scoring drives that averaged eight plays per, only took an average of 2:30 minutes. As the game wore on, it seemed the Denver defense got worn out as the men in orange and blue held on to win.
Tweet of the Game
This, from Gary Miller, after Manning got up hobbling.
This doesn’t look good.
— gary miller (@thegarymiller) November 11, 2013
What This Win Means
This win means Denver improves to 8-1, earning a victory after their bye week to pick up where they left off. It’s big because they didn’t let the distraction of playing with a new head coach get them down, coming through with a win on the road against a division rival.
Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday, November 17, 6:30 p.m. MT
Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium
Rich Kurtzman is cover32′s Denver Broncos Managing Editor. Follow Rich on Twitter (@RichKurtzman).