Final DEN 30 SD 23
It was the same ending to the same nightmare that has haunted the San Diego Chargers all season.
In a must-win game for the Chargers, Philip Rivers managed to single-handedly give the game away, coughing up two interceptions and three fumbles in Sunday's AFC West matchup with the Denver Broncos.
In the first quarter, luck appeared to be on San Diego's side as Eric Weddle picked off Peyton Manning's tipped pass and returned it for a 23-yard score, but that would be the only form of offense the Chargers would get in the entire first half.
The Broncos then proceeded to score 17 unanswered points in the second quarter to take the lead 17-7 going into halftime. While the Chargers had an answer for Denver's run game, they were powerless against Peyton Manning, who finished the day with 270 yards passing and three TDs.
After halftime, the Chargers came out in the second half with a sense of urgency outscoring the Broncos 16-7 in the third quarter thanks to a Danario Alexander TD catch and a safety by Shaun Phillips.
However, Denver's defense stepped it up in the fourth quarter, holding the Chargers scoreless until the very last few minutes when Alexander caught his second TD catch. By then, the game was already out of reach as the Broncos recovered an onside kick attempt to seal the deal.
It seemed like nothing could go right for the Chargers. Rivers was on heels the entire day, scrambling for his life against a ferocious Denver front seven. And the run game, well, let's just say Ryan Mathews and his 47 yards went unnoticed.
It's just been that kind of season for San Diego. The quarterback is in a slump, the running back hasn't lived up to the hype and the defense is getting no help from the offense.
Meanwhile, Manning has his Broncos on a one-way road to the postseason. If Denver continues to play stiff defense and put points on the board, they'll be a tough contender in the playoffs.