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Notes: No fire or brimstone in Fox’s speech

SAN DIEGO – The Broncos didn’t get the fire-and-brimstone speech from coach John Fox at halftime on Monday night.

What they got was an affirmation — even if it was sternly delivered.

“Coach just told us to keep fighting. He said that he knew we were going to win,” said cornerback Chris Harris.

“Coach Fox is one of those guys who can have a stinger to him without offending anybody,” added Elvis Dumervil. “That’s just the way he leads. Obviously, the guys responded.”

It was the biggest comeback for the Broncos since 1979, and also the biggest of Fox’s 11-season career as an NFL head coach.

“He said a couple of good things; I’ll let him tell you what he said,” said Champ Bailey, perhaps knowing that Fox would be reticent to share his exact words. “But he just knows what we’re capable of and he believes in us, and the good thing is we believe in ourselves and what we can do. That’s all it takes. A certain mindset.”

Other notes from the game …

… Right guard Chris Kuper returned to the starting lineup. He briefly played at New England on Oct. 7, but this was his first extended action since he fractured his fibula and tore ankle ligaments on Jan. 1 against Kansas City …

… Keith Brooking started at middle linebacker in place of Joe Mays, who was demoted to the second team. Mays was barely a rumor in the Broncos’ game plan, as he wasn’t used in nickel and dime packages; that linebacking work went mainly to Wesley Woodyard — who played as the weakside linebacker in the base package with Brooking moving to the middle — and rookie Danny Trevathan …

… Woodyard led the Broncos in tackles with nine …

… Virgil Green started as the Broncos offense opened its first series in a three-tight end package …

… Chargers running back Ryan Mathews was held to 74 yards on 22 carries. It was the first time in his four games against the Broncos that he did not rush for at least 100 yards …

… No Broncos receiver eclipsed the 100-yard mark. Eric Decker came closest, leading the team with 98 yards on six receptions. Five Broncos had more than 35 receiving yards; six had at least two receptions apiece …

… Denver’s third-down defense improved, holding the Chargers to conversions on 40 percent of their attempts (6 of 15), but its third-down offense regressed, converting just two of eight chances …

… The Broncos emerged with no significant injuries. Linebacker Von Miller, defensive tackle Justin Bannan and right tackle Orlando Franklin (hamstring) were treated by team medical personnel during the game, but all returned.

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