No. 9 impact play: Keiser's interception

February, 11, 2014
2/11/14
3:45
PM ET
In this series, we count down the top 10 impact plays for the San Diego Chargers that helped shape the team's 2013 postseason run.

Situation: First-and-10 from Denver's 33-yard line.

Score: Chargers lead 24-17.

Time: Five minutes, 17 seconds remaining in regulation.

Williams' take: The Chargers had Denver on the ropes, but needed to close the deal. The Broncos rallied to make things interesting, but Thomas Keiser sealed the win for San Diego by dropping into coverage and picking off Peyton Manning's pass, deflected by defensive lineman Corey Liuget. The play was a great example of the relentless effort Liuget played with during the season. In his third year out of the University of Illinois, Liuget quietly developed into one of the more dominant interior pass-rushers in the NFL. Liuget led the Chargers with 5.5 sacks during the regular season. Keiser also proved that he can be a regular contributor in the NFL, finishing with 4.5 sacks during the regular season in his most playing time in his four-year NFL career. The play led to a Nick Novak 35-yard field goal, allowing San Diego to take a 27-17 lead with 2:36 left in the game.

Check out the play here.

Season impact: The play capped a dominant defensive effort by the Chargers against one of the best offenses in NFL history. San Diego held Denver to just 295 total yards. The Broncos converted just 2 of 9 third downs. Denver averaged a league-leading 38 points a contest during the regular season, but managed just 24 points a contest against defensive coordinator John Pagano's unit in three games last season. The game also served as somewhat of a blueprint for Seattle's defense to mimic in the Seahawks' dominant win over the Broncos in the Super Bowl.

Quote: “It's probably at the top because of the actual game, and what it meant for our season. Just being able to win a huge game like that -- that was definitely the most important game of my NFL career.” -- Thomas Keiser on what the interception meant to him

Eric D. Williams

ESPN San Diego Chargers reporter

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