DENVER - The Broncos started out strong in their last home game of the regular season but were soon overtaken by the San Diego Chargers, who beat them 27-20 Thursday night.
The Broncos started the game with the ball. Trindon Holliday was out for Sunday's game, but he was ready to play tonight. He caught the kickoff in the end zone and brought it out to the 38-yard line.
On the first play, a good throw to Julius Thomas and the Broncos were across mid-field.
A few plays later, a 15-yard touchdown pass was caught by Andre Caldwell in the end zone -- touchdown!
Broncos up 7-0.
That was touchdown pass No. 46 for Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. That put him four shy of tying the NFL record for the most touchdowns in a single season.
After a sack by the Broncos rookie Sylvester Williams, the Broncos held the Chargers to a field goal.
Broncos led 7-3 with 5:15 left in the first quarter.
On the Broncos' second possession, the Broncos moved quickly down the field, but struggled in the red zone.
On the 19-year-line, Montee Ball lost his helmet and six yards on a run play. Another pass got the Broncos to the 15-yard-line, but it wasn't enough for a first down. Matt Prater was called out for the field goal. Broncos up 10-3.
The Chargers' possession took us in the second quarter and they didn't give up.
It took 13 plays to move 80 yards, but the Chargers scored a touchdown when Keenan Allen hurdled over the Broncos Kayvon Webster and pushed his way into the end zone. It was a spectacular play that will be seen on SportsCenter highlights for sure. Broncos 10 - Chargers 10.
The Broncos had no answer. Holliday brought the kickoff out of the end zone, but only got to the 10-yard line. The Broncos went three-and-out.
The Chargers caught the punt on the 40-yard line and picked up five more. While the Chargers started the drive almost at mid-field, they didn't get far and had to punt.
Broncos got the ball with lousy field position and went three-and-out. The Broncos did not score in the second quarter. Game was still tied at 10-10.
Then it was the Chargers' ball on a short field. So 43-yards later, Keenan Allen scored again. Chargers 17 - Broncos 10.
The Broncos got the ball back with 1:05 left on the clock and went three-and-out.
A punt sent the ball back to the Chargers with 10 seconds left in the half. The Chargers took a knee to go into halftime. The Chargers to start the second half with the ball.
Interesting stats from first half:
Time of possession in first half: Chargers 19 minutes, Broncos 11 minutes.
This is only the third game the Broncos have started the second half on defense.
In first half, Broncos had just eight rushes for 15 yards.
The Chargers won the coin toss before the game and deferred. They started the second half with the ball and on the first drive back, they scored a touchdown to go up 24-10.
The Broncos started the second half down 14 points. The NFL network said the Broncos have won three games after trailing by 14 points.
The Chargers' kick went out of bounds, so the Broncos started on the 40-yard line. They got to mid-field, but the drive stalled and the Broncos had to punt.
That punt went perfectly for the Broncos, putting the Chargers on the 1-yard line.
The Broncos held the Chargers to three-and-out, but on the punt, the Broncos had a neutral zone infraction. That's a 10-yard penalty and the Chargers got a new set of downs. It took some time, but the Broncos finally stopped them at mid-field.
The Broncos got the ball for only the second time this quarter with 1:31 left.
The Broncos were moving the ball, but got stalled on the 31-yard line. With 4th down and 6 yards to go, the Broncos went for it. Manning threw to Caldwell -- first down!
It took a few more plays, but Caldwell caught another pass and made it into the endzone for a touchdown. Broncos down 17-24.
The Chargers ate up the clock on their possession, but no score. While they were close to field goal range, the Chargers punted.
It was Broncos ball on the 3-yard line with 5:50 remaining. They managed a first down, but Manning got hit on a passing play and was intercepted.
It was San Diego's ball with 5:07 left. One running play and San Diego was in field goal range. Several plays later and the Chargers scored that field goal. Chargers were up 27-17 with 2:36 left.
The Broncos needed two scores just to tie.
The team managed to work their way into field goal range and Prater kicked a 42-yard field goal, leaving the Broncos in need of seven more. But the on-side kick didn't work, so it became the Chargers ball and that meant the game was over.
Broncos lose 20-27.
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