What a Monday night comeback. What a difference between two halves. And what a difference between two quarterbacks.
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning turned in a sensational second half, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers turned in a lousy second half, and the Broncos won a wild Monday Night Football game, coming back from a 24-0 deficit at halftime to win 35-24.
In the first half it looked like it was going to be a San Diego blowout: Antonio Gates caught two touchdown passes from Rivers, and when Manning had a miscommunication with receiver Matt Willis, Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer turned it into an 80-yard pick-six. It was all Chargers through the first 30 minutes, and as Manning jogged to the locker room at halftime, he wore a look of frustration on his face.
But the Broncos turned it on in the second half. Manning was on fire, with three touchdown passes, and Rivers couldn’t get anything going. The Broncos’ comeback was aided when defensive end Elvis Dumervil hit Rivers to force a fumble that Broncos defensive back Tony Carter picked up and ran 65 yards for a touchdown, and the Broncos’ comeback was clinched when Rivers threw an interception that Broncos defensive back Chris Harris returned 46 yards for a touchdown.
Stats don’t always tell the whole story, but the stats of the two quarterbacks on Monday night come pretty close: Manning was 24 of 30 for 309 yards with three touchdowns and one interception, while Rivers was 25 of 41 for 242 yards, with two touchdowns, four interceptions and two lost fumbles.
Now the Broncos and Chargers are tied atop the AFC West at 3-3, but the Broncos hold the head-to-head tiebreaker. It hasn’t been an easy first six weeks of the season, but Peyton Manning’s Broncos are the favorites to win the division.