CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Bradley Roby did everything right. He went over the top of a pick, shades of his days on the basketball court. He trailed the receiver in man coverage, but was in position to make a play when quarterback Philip Rivers' pass was tipped into the air.
Roby snatched it, and raced 49 yards for a touchdown to push Denver ahead 10-7 in the second quarter, the pivotal moment in the Broncos' 29-17 victory over the San Diego Chargers.
Starting in place of the injured Aqib Talib, Roby did one heck of an impersonation of the Pro Bowler. Roby raced to the sideline, avoided defenders and went untouched for a touchdown, his second in two years. His first came on a scoop and score to vanquish Kansas City last season at Arrowhead Stadium.
Yes, he did everything right. Save for one thing. He fired the football into the stands.
"It's all right," Roby told Denver7. "I will get another one."
He meant a pick six. He will always remember his first because Wednesday the NFL named him the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his work against the Chargers. Roby finished with seven tackles, two passes defensed and a score.
"My mindset with Aqib down was that it was another chance to get out there on the field a little bit more. This year I haven't been on the field as much, so I definitely wanted to take advantage of this," Roby said. "When Talib said he wasn't playing, I knew I had to step up."
Roby has become a spectator more often than the team would like, because the Broncos have stayed in base personnel to stop the run. However, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips used Roby more in the win over Houston, and the former Ohio State star starred against San Diego.
Roby is the second Broncos player to win defensive honors this season, joining outside linebacker Von Miller (Week 2 vs. Indianapolis). In all, 32 Broncos have claimed the award since it was initiated in 1984.
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