San Diego made the game interesting with wide receiver Danario Alexander's second touchdown with 1:24 remaining to bring San Diego within seven. But the Bolts were unable to recover the onside kick and flat-lined on their final possession of the game, unable to do much of anything after regaining possession with 24 seconds on the clock.
With the win, the Broncos move to 7-3 and are now in full control in the AFC West with a three-game lead. The Chargers, meanwhile, continue to head in the wrong direction and things seem to be only getting worse. Since Week 2, they have only defeated the lowly Kansas City Chiefs and starting quarterback Philip Rivers is continuing his struggles.
After a two-interception game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Rivers committed two more turnovers against Denver. He finished with 258 yards and two touchdowns, but the interceptions and fumbles will continue to plague him and the team.
While the defense has a lot to be proud of, with a touchdown and safety in this contest, it was not enough to get the win on the road.
Peyton Manning continued his winning ways with another fantastic performance. He spread the ball around to nine different receivers and found three of them in the end zone for touchdowns.
However, the most valuable player on the Broncos was linebacker Von Miller. The second-year star entered the game second in the NFL with 10 sacks. He now has the lead after finishing the day with three sacks, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble. He caused mayhem for the offensive line all afternoon and was a big reason that the Chargers offense was unable to get into a rhythm.
Running back Willis McGahee left with a knee injury in the first half, but Ronnie Hillman and Lance Ball filled in admirably. The Broncos are showing that they have a complete team from top to bottom and are a serious contender in the AFC.
Oakland Athletics pitcher Jarrod Parker made a not-so-difficult observation during the game.
Von Miller is really good at football...Broncos are fun to watch not even a fan just a good team!!— Jarrod Parker (@JarrodBParker) November 18, 2012
The Broncos had to feel good with a 17-7 lead at the half. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the team is pretty hard to beat in such situations.
Broncos are 47-1 in the last 48 HOME games in which they've led by at least 10 points at halftime (last loss-- 49ers, 2006)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 18, 2012
Third down is not an ideal situation for the Chargers offense in the first half, as pointed out by Clark Judge of CBS Sports.
Chargers 0-for-8 on third downs in first half, with 54 yards and two first downs. Oh, yeah, and no points on offense.— Clark Judge (@ClarkJudgeCBS) November 18, 2012
Bleacher Report's Aaron Nagler made a long-term observation about San Diego late in the fourth quarter.
How can anyone look at that last sequence by the Chargers and think anything other than "Time to blow this up."— Aaron Nagler (@Aaron_Nagler) November 19, 2012
CNN analyst Rolands Martin had a similar sentiment.
Even though the Chargers fought hard throughout the game, there are some serious concerns with this organization as it attempts to turn things around in the future.