Philip Rivers threw two touchdowns and Ryan Mathews added another score and wore down Denver as the Chargers upset the Broncos 27-20 in Denver on Thursday night. The Chargers’ second straight win over a Manning – Peyton on Thursday and his brother Eli and the New York Giants on Sunday – got them back to .500 at 7-7 and kept them in the AFC playoff race. The loss was the first at home this season for the Broncos (11-3). Rivers won his sixth game in eight tries in Denver, and Chargers head coach Mike McCoy was victorious in his return to the team for which he was an assistant coach before being hired in San Diego. Rivers (12-for-20, 166 yards) connected for two touchdown passes to rookie Keenan Allen, and Mathews carried 29 times for 127 yards, including a 23-yard score. The Broncos trailed by only seven points in the fourth quarter, but the Chargers defense made a game-changing play when Thomas Keiser intercepted a floating Manning pass after the quarterback was hit on the throw by defensive lineman Corey Liuget. The only turnover of the game gave the Chargers the ball at the Denver 33. Nick Novak kicked his second field goal, a 35-yarder, to provide the 10-point cushion. Denver drove to a 42-yard field goal to get back to within seven, but an onside kick failed and the Chargers ran out the clock. Manning threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Andre Caldwell early in the fourth quarter to bring the Broncos to within one score. The touchdown was the second of the night for Caldwell, who is subbing for the injured Wes Welker. On the drive, Manning converted a 4-and-6 play with a 15-yard completion to Caldwell. Mathews scored on a 23-yard run on the Chargers’ opening drive of the second half to give San Diego a 24-10 lead over the Broncos. On the last drive of the first half, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers threw his second touchdown pass of the game to Keenan Allen to give the Chargers a seven-point lead at halftime. Rivers hit Allen with a 10-yard fade to the left corner of the end zone. It was Allen's fourth TD catch in the last two games.
Chargers upset Broncos 27-20
San Diego Union-Tribune | Dec 13