Thursday, December 12, 2013
Rapid Reaction: San Diego Chargers
By Eric D. Williams
DENVER -- A few thoughts on the San Diego Chargers' 27-20 win over the Denver Broncos.
What it means: The Chargers gave the Broncos their first home loss of the season, and now are 6-2 at Sports Authority Field since 2006. With the win, San Diego scratches back to the .500 mark, and at 7-7 remains alive for the final AFC wild-card spot, pulling to within a half-game of Baltimore (7-6) and Miami (7-6).
Broncos' offense tamed: San Diego's defense forced Denver into three straight three-and-outs at one point, as the Broncos punted an unusual four times during the contest. Peyton Manning was out of sync, finishing 27-of-41 for 289 yards and two touchdowns. He had a pass intercepted by San Diego linebacker Thomas Keiser. The Broncos were held to 18 rushing yards, and the Chargers held Denver to a season-low 20 points.
Keenan Allen flashes again: Chargers receiver Keenan Allen may have nailed down this year's offensive rookie of the year award with a scintillating performance on national television. Allen had just two receptions for 29 yards, but both were for touchdowns, including a 19-yarder in which he hurdled over Denver's Kayvon Webster on his way to the end zone.
Stock watch: Running back Ryan Mathews eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the season for the second time in his four-year pro career. Mathews ran for 128 yards on 29 carries, including a 23-yard run for a score. It's the fifth time this season Mathews has rushed for more than 100 yards, as Denver's defense had no answer for San Diego's running game. Mathews has 1,013 yards with two games to play.
What's next: The Chargers return home to face AFC West division rival Oakland on Sunday, Dec. 22, at 4:25 p.m. ET.