Broncos upset Chargers with fourth-quarter comeback

Nov 18, 2018; Carson, CA, USA; Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus (8) kicks a 34-yard field goal with 3 second remaining in the game to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers 23-22 at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos (4-6) rallied in the fourth quarter to upset the Los Angeles Chargers, 23-20 Sunday.

Led by Case Keenum, the Broncos drove 76 yards in 1:51 with zero timeouts, and Brandon McManus capped off the game-winning drive with a 34-yard field goal. The drive helped erase a missed call from the officials that nearly costed the Broncos the game.

Down by five at the beginning of fourth quarter, Phillip Lindsay took a direct snap in the backfield and plowed into the end zone from the 2-yard line to give Denver a narrow lead (20-19). With a chance to go up a by a field goal, Broncos head coach Vance Joseph elected to send Keenum up the gut on a 2-point attempt.

Keenum was ruled down on the play but replays showed that the veteran quarterback stuck the football past the goal line before his knee touched the ground. Since the play was not ruled successful on the field, it was not automatically reviewable by the officials, and Vance Joseph elected not to challenge the ruling.

On the ensuing series, Philip Rivers led the Chargers down the field and the Chargers regained the lead with a 30-yard field goal. The lead would not hold though as Denver was able to steal a road victory on the final drive of the game.

In the victory, Keenum (205) finished with significantly less passing yards than Rivers (401), and he did not throw any touchdowns. But Keenum did a better job at protecting the football and when the game was on the line, he was able to lead his team to victory.

Along with strong play from the quarterback down the stretch, the Broncos also benefited from another stellar outing against the Chargers from Von Miller. Miller joined DeMarcus Ware and Reggie White as the only players in NFL history with 10 sacks in seven of their first eight seasons, and the veteran linebacker also had a crucial interception in the second half.

Following Sunday’s upset of the Chargers (7-3), the Broncos will return to Denver on Nov. 25 for a showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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