Another home game with rookie QB Tim Tebow starting and another exciting finish.
And an almost second come-from-behind victory after a typical fatal mistake by the Chargers woeful special teams gave Denver the ball back on an onside kick with less than a minute left on the clock and down by only five points.
But this time it didn't end as well. With San Diego able to play deep center field and knocking down the last two Hail Tebow passes in the endzone.
This really was two teams playing for nothing but pride and many players auditioning for jobs next year. And one of those players was the aforementioned Mr. Tebow.
He had his last start and last real game this season to show what he can and can't do as building his résumé for whoever will be making the roster for next season.
After stopping the Chargers twice and forcing a second punt, Tebow and the Broncos took the ball down the field for a TD.
Things were moving along and it seems that there were some scripted plays and that they were working. They marched 92 yards and it was capped by an eight-yard Tebow-to-Lloyd TD, who was so alone, he looked like he had snuck into the end-zone from the tunnel.
Rookie RB Ryan Matthews, who hadn't done much all season against any other team, came alive against the Bronco wimpy D. He had 120 yards on 26 carries. Oh, and he also had three TDs.
At least the Broncos weren't in danger of giving up their 32nd ranking against the run.
If this final game doesn't reinforce the obvious fact that almost the entire defense needs to be rebuilt next year, I am not sure what does.
As much as it pains me to say it, Rivers is now one of the elite four or five QBs in the NFL. He put on a clinic on how to pick a team apart, even when he was being harassed much of the game. He was sacked four times and hurried a lot but still was able to throw for 317 yards on 21 of 37 with 1 INT.
What impressed me was how calm he was and how he was a mature leader throughout the game. I hope Tim Tebow was watching and taking notes.
Watching Chargers Nate Kaeding bang three FGs from 42, 45 and 47 yards. It looked like they could have moved the ball back to 70 yards, and he would have drilled it squarely through the uprights.
It just seemed like when the Denver D could finally stop the Chargers, they trotted out Mr. Automatic and punched it through.
He reminded me of former Bronco K Jason Elam, who also had one of those cannon legs. And it just so happened that Mr. Elam was honored between quarters at this game so maybe Kaeding was just showing off in front of Jason.
As the game went on, it looked more and more like WR Brandon Lloyd was gong to finish the regular season with the most receiving yards in the NFL. And when the final gun sounded, he had another quiet but effective game, He had five catches for 73 yards and the 14 YD TD.
He ended the season with 77 receptions for 1,448 yards and 11 TDs.
And he is the only Bronco going to Hawaii to the Pro Bowl. A richly deserving award for this gifted young man.
Rookie free agent Cassius Vaughn had the most exciting play of the day when he took a kickoff at his own three yard line and then ran through the terrible special teams of the Chargers for a 97 yard TD return.
He was the only free agent to make the active roster this year and was playing mostly on special teams and a few nickel and dime packages this season.
What surprised me was that WR Eric Decker had been returning kickoffs the past few games and was doing a very good job. But he doesn't have the explosiveness that Vaughn showed on this return.
Even though he was the Running Backs Coach on a team that couldn't run the ball, he was the surprise selection as the interim head coach after the McDaniels fiasco finally ended.
And I thought he showed a feel for the role. The team seemed to respond to him and the games, especially the last two, showed that he had control and no "Deer in the headlights" look like his predecessor showed at times.
It also looked like the players respect him and he respects them.
He is scheduled to get a formal interview for the permanent position soon. Although I don't think he will get the job, I think the Broncos could do a lot worse. Which they proved with Hoody west's short reign of terror.
However it winds up and wherever he winds up, I thank Mr. Studesville for bringing class and control back to the team these last three games.
After playing a pretty decent game last week against a very weak pass defense in the Houston Texans, Mr. Tebow had to step up to face something a little different; a defense that can rush the passer and can cover the WRs.
And the results were about what you would expect with that kind of quality difference between the Chargers and the Texans.
He had two TD throws, one was a busted coverage and one was a tougher throw to hit rookie WR Eric Decker in the back of the end-zone for Decker's first professional TD catch of his young career.
Tebow also threw two INTs. One was a true rookie throw, making a bad read on the Safety and the other one was just a bad throw.
He also ran the ball well and scored a TD with his feet.
But what has me concerned is he still looks like a college QB playing in the NFL. There is still the tendency to look for the run maybe a bit too soon. That can be coached out of him with the right mentors and taking a few big hits from some serious dudes like Ray Lewis, Marvin Harrison, etc.
The thing that I saw that was more disturbing was his lack of accuracy on the longer throws. He just did not look comfortable making those throws and he wasn't too successful with them either.
He finished the season with a 50 percent completion average and threw five TDs and three INTs. His final QB ratig was 82.1. This compares to Orton,who had a 58 percent completion rating and 20 TDs and nine INTs with a rating of 87.7.
Yes, he scored six rushing TDs, the most on this sorry-assed rushing offense. But do we really want a running QB who will likely take 4-5 years to mature and may or may not become a great QB?
Can he work through all these college bad habits? Maybe, but will he then be a real NFL QB?
Watching the difference between Tebow and Rivers reminded me that TT has a long way to go to get there.
Time will tell.