The Denver Broncos had to earn a victory on the road against San Diego on Sunday and indeed held on for a 28-20 victory.
The win puts the Broncos at 8-1 on the season, setting them up for a showdown against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs.
Denver won the game despite a huge deficit in time of possession, which favored San Diego by over 16 minutes.
|Denver Broncos Game Grades|
|Positional Unit||1st-Half Grade||Final Grade|
|Week 10 vs. Chargers|
Final Analysis for the Denver Broncos
Passing Offense: Peyton Manning added to his impressive season with a 330-yard, four-touchdown performance against the Chargers. He did take a hit toward the end of the game that probably had every Broncos fan extremely nervous, however.
Passing Defense: Denver held Philip Rivers in check for the most part, holding him to just 218 yards passing. The Broncos were able to get plenty of pressure on him late in the game when they were up by eight points.
Rushing Offense: Knowshon Moreno continues to be an important cog in the Denver offense. He ran for 65 yards on 15 carries.
Rushing Defense: Denver buckled down against the run in the second half, limiting San Diego to just 17 yards rushing. The fact that Denver got up by as many as 22 points in the second half had a lot to do with that.
Special Teams: You still have to take the bad with the good in Trindon Holliday. Late in the game, he muffed a punt that would have put San Diego in prime position to tie things up. Luckily, he recovered it.
Coaching: Jack Del Rio goes to 1-0 as interim head coach of the Broncos. Offensive coordinator Adam Gase called an excellent game as well.
First-Half Analysis for the Denver Broncos
Passing Offense: Peyton Manning is on fire in the first half, throwing for 243 yards and three touchdowns. He led a masterful two-minute drill before the break in which he completed eight out of nine passes before finding Demaryius Thomas for a score.
Passing Defense: Though the Chargers did find some success throwing to tight ends Antonio Gates and Ladarius Green, Denver held them to just 91 yards passing.
Rushing Offense: Denver ran the ball just three times in the first half. Knowshon Moreno gained nine yards on those three carries.
Rushing Defense: The Chargers have been able to run the ball against Denver's No. 2-ranked run defense, gaining 114 yards in the first half on 25 carries. San Diego has been able to control time of possession, but it's still down on the scoreboard.
Special Teams: Trindon Holliday is an excellent kick returner, but there is never a reason to bring the ball out nine yards into the end zone. Holliday has a 24-yard kick return and a six-yard punt return in the first half.
Coaching: So far the absence of head coach John Fox hasn't seemed to bother the Broncos. Interim coach Jack Del Rio has handled the duties well thus far.