2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Gameday Live Report: Broncos (7-1) at Chargers (4-4)

Published: November 10, 2013, 1:45 pm, by Paul Klee

FINAL: Broncos 28, Chargers 20.

—Peyton Manning is limping pretty badly. We’ll have an update on Gazette.com asap.

—Perhaps there’s nothing to it… but it felt like the Broncos were holding something back in their play-calling. Cue up the conspiracy theories: Is it because Denver didn’t want to give Kansas City any additional film to study?

—The Broncos didn’t do any favors for John Fox’s heart situation. The sack-fumble. The (almost) blown lead. Trindon Holliday’s fumble on a fair catch. Take it easy on the coach, guys.

—The Broncos led 28-6. Kansas City scored the next 14 to make it interesting.

—The lower bowls at Qualcomm Stadium look like a Gart Brothers Outlet. It’s all jerseys and shorts.

—This is one the Broncos couldn’t afford to lose. And they didn’t. Up next: Kansas City (9-0) at Sports Authority Field. Gas up the hype machine.

Gazette.com Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 28, Chargers 20 — 10:42 left in fourth quarter

—San Diego won’t go away, because it’s the Broncos against Philips Rivers, and he never goes away.

—The Broncos lost to the Colts thanks to a momentum-turning sack-fumble. The Broncos are keeping it interesting against the Chargers thanks to a sack-fumble. What do the Chiefs do? Cause sack-fumbles.

—The MetLife blimp must have a great view here.

Klee

Gazette.com Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 28, Chargers 13 — End of third quarter

—Shaun Phillips had the moment he was hoping for today, cornering Philip Rivers, his teammate for nine seasons, on a 10-yard sack.

—The Chargers crowd booed Phillips. Not Philip.

—Peyton Manning is unhappy. With the three-and-out. With Eric Decker. With Tennessee’s performance on Saturday.

—Denver has 18 first downs. San Diego has 16 first downs.

—Kansas City has a bye week.

Klee

Gazette.com Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 28, Chargers 13 — 6:14 left in third quarter

—Strange sequence: Peyton and Knowshon were arguing with each other… when the ball was about to be snapped.

—Keep an eye on this development: San Diego’s left tackle, King Dunlap, won’t return due to injury. Paging, Von Miller.

—Just as we mentioned “turnovers”… the Broncos suffered their first. That’s how KC can win in CO.

—Rahim Moore has been very good today.

—These TV timeouts seem to be longer than usual.

—San Diego’s weather seems to be even more awesome than usual.

Back in a few.

Klee

Gazette.com Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 28, Chargers 6 — 11:19 left in third quarter

—Demaryius Thomas has a hat trick of touchdown receptions. The 40-yard screen was a thing of beauty. Credit Wes Welker with a stubborn block on the play.

—This is Mile High West (Coast). Broncos touchdowns are greeted with a home-crowd roar.

—I see only one scenario in which Kansas City can win in Denver: A buncha Broncos turnovers.

—None today, though.

—Wesley Woodyard had a game-high nine tackles in the first half. That’s why this.

Back in a few.

Klee

Gazette.com Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 21, Chargers 6 — Halftime

—And the Peyton Manning Show rolls on. His first-half numbers: 243 yards, three touchdowns, 152.2 rating.

—It happens so often, we almost forget to notice it’s happening.

—Field goals won’t beat these Broncos.

—Missed field goals, either.

—His numbers are nothing special — three solo tackles — but Von Miller’s first half was dominant. He should get an assist on Derek Wolfe’s sack of Philip Rivers.

—The predominantly orange lower bowl has been standing-room only. And I hope they brought their sunscreen.

—Sitting with the esteemed Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star columnist, in the press box. We’re talking Chiefs-Broncos and in agreement next Sunday’s game is the unstoppable force (Peyton’s O) vs. the immovable object (K.C.’s D).

—My question, and this will be addressed in Monday’s Gazette: Can Kansas City score with Denver?

—Not that we’re looking ahead or anything.

Back in a few.

Klee

Gazette.com Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 14, Chargers 6 — 3:45 left in second quarter

—The Broncos defense needed a solid drive from the Broncos offense there. The ‘D’ looked gassed.

—According to our friend Cecil Lammey, the Broncos have enjoyed 19 touchdown-scoring drives of at least 80 yards this season. That’s remarkable.

—Peyton Manning’s QB rating so far: 151.4. Ankles look OK, I’d say.

—Peyton now has 31 touchdown passes this season. Reminder: It’s Week 10.

—Philip Rivers must be hoarse after he plays a game.

—DRC did not agree with that pass-interference flag.

—Hearing Kayvon Webster’s name called often today. That’s good… and bad.

Back in a few.

Klee

Gazette.com Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 7, Chargers 6 — 9:05 left in second quarter

—Big play by Kevin Vickerson on the four-yard loss. Kept his helmet on (and avoided a penalty), too.

—Big play by Kayvon Webster in the back corner of the endzone. Kept his hands off the receiver (and avoided a penalty), too.

—Qualcomm Stadium is still shooting off fireworks. Still scaring the fajitas out of me.

—Jack Del Rio hasn’t needed to make any “head-coach decisions” so far. Fourth-and-1s, challenge flags, etc.

—These are San Diego Super Chargers, friends. And the fight song is played often.

—Broncos offense is still on the bye week.

Back in a few.

Klee

Gazette.com Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 7, Chargers 3 — 12:03 left in second quarter

—Jack Del Rio said the defense’s focus was to “get off the field” on third down. The Chargers are 2-for-6 on third down so far.

—Lots of jawing on the field. Wesley Woodyard got into it with someone. Kevin Vickerson got into it with someone. Trindon Holliday got into it with someone. That last one isn’t a new development.

—Broncos starting all of their drives with terrible field position. Indianapolis did a good job of that, too.

—Peyton Manning showing no signs of a limp after that ankle sack. This was unusual, though: After the sack, Peyton paced the sideline while looking over photos. He’s usually seated next to Adam Gase.

Back in a few.

Klee

SD.Flag

Gazette.com Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 7, Chargers 3 — 14:58 left in second quarter

—Old Man Rivers doing his usual Broncos bashing. Has any singular player given them phits more than Phil?

—If you noticed the Packers score — Philadelphia 27, Green Bay 13 — that’s what I expect would happen to the Broncos if, God forbid, something happened to Peyton Manning.

—Big stop by the Broncos defense, limiting a long Chargers drive to a field goal.

—Qualcomm Stadium (above) just did a placard thing to honor the military: “Thank You Military.”

—Qualcomm Stadium LOVES shooting fireworks. Scares the fish tacos out of me.

—Trindon Holliday prefers tongue lashings to touchbacks.

Back in a few.

Klee

Gazette.com Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 7, Chargers 0 — 9:18 left in first quarter

—Broncos forced a punt on San Diego’s first possession.

—San Diego faked the punt on San Diego’s first possession. For Chargers to win, risks must be taken.

—The Juice Man predicted Trindon Holliday will take one back today. Worth nothing: in his career, Holliday averages a return for a touchdown every 4.2 games. He hasn’t scored one in the past four. Is today the .2?

—Former Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy has a better tan now.

“It will be odd seeing him on the other sideline,” current Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase said.

—Without our mountains, it’s really hard to figure out which direction you’re facing. But the East (I think) side of the stadium looks like a Broncos home game. The crowd must be 25-30 percent orange. The lower bowl must be 60-70 percent orange.

—Von Miller was responsible for stopping a huge gain by the Chargers, because the Chargers were responsible for holding him.

—Philip Rivers is a bit of a football maniac. I like that about him.

—Julius Thomas looks OK, I’d say.

Back in a few.

Klee

Gazette.com Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos (7-1) at Chargers (4-4) — Qualcomm Stadium (70,000), San Diego — Kickoff (2:25 p.m. MT)

—They show the flyover on TV? Three very large cargo planes buzzed the tower.

—Rivers and Manning shared a handshake/man hug during the coin toss.

—Official prediction: Broncos 42, Chargers 36.

—The Ihenacho injury is the damaging one.

—Jack Del Rio on John Fox: “His spirits are really good.”

—Here’s hoping the Broncos take it easy on the coach’s blood pressure today.

Back in a few.

Klee

Gazette.com Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos (7-1) at Chargers (4-4) — Qualcomm Stadium (70,000), San Diego — 45 minutes until kickoff (2:25 p.m. MT)

—What is the Broncos’ priority this offseason? Signing this guy to a new contract: Column on the leader of the Broncos defense.

—Julius Thomas didn’t practice all week at Dove Valley. But the tight end is on the field, going through passing drills.

—Rough day for the Colts, who lost to the Chargers and beat the Broncos. The Rams are up big.

—At the moment, there’s more orange than powder blue in Qualcomm. For real.

Nuggets center JaVale McGee is out indefinitely with a stress fracture. The Brian Shaw era couldn’t be off to a worse start.

—Haven’t checked Jack Del Rio’s record after a bye week.

Back in a few.

Klee

SD.Qualcomm      SD.Corona

Gazette.com Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos (7-1) at Chargers (4-4) — Qualcomm Stadium (70,000), San Diego — 1 hour until kickoff (2:25 p.m. MT)

Afternoon everyone. Time for another Broncos Live Report, this time from sunny southern California. I’ll be here through the final buzzer with observations and updates from Qualcomm Stadium (above left). Let’s get started…

—Peyton Manning just took the field. Cruising through the chaos of the Qualcomm tailgating scene, there are as many Manning jerseys as Rivers jerseys. For real.

—And it is chaos at Qualcomm, which should go the same route as Candlestick Park.

—The weather’s about what you’d expect, 70 degrees and not a cloud in sight.

—Klee’s staying with Justin and Kristin Neerhof up in Corona del Mar (above right). Check with the Juice Man for all your goalkeeping training and advising. My man is a true professional on the soccer scene.

—Among the Broncos inactives today: Champ Bailey, Duke Ihenacho and Ronnie Hillman. The Broncos secondary figures to get a stern test from Philip Rivers, who’s averaging 344 passing yards over the past four games.

—The Juice Man says the Broncos won’t break a sweat against the Chargers. Predictions to come.

—What’s next for the Broncos? Only the toughest four-game stretch of the regular season. Here’s today’s column in The Gazette.

Back in a few. Shoot any questions my way (paul.klee@gazette.com).

Twitter: @Klee_Gazette