Chargers upset Broncos in Denver

Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:25am EST
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(Reuters) - San Diego shocked Peyton Manning's Broncos with a 27-20 win in Denver on Thursday, breathing new life into the Chargers' playoff hopes and throwing the AFC West title race wide open.

The Broncos (11-3) have already clinched a place in the postseason but have now given Kansas City (10-3) a chance to snatch the division title from their grasp.

The Chargers (7-7) trail Baltimore (7-6) and Miami (7-6) in the chase for the last wildcard spot.

"This win says a lot about the coaches and the players, how hard they've worked to get to this point," Chargers rookie head coach and former Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said.

"We knew we had a tough game coming here but everyone stepped up, we ran the football extremely well and it was a great team effort.

"The defense did a great job overall, I'm very proud of them."

After falling behind early the Chargers scored 21 unanswered points, including two touchdown receptions from rookie wide receiver Keenan Allen in the second quarter, then squashed Manning's attempted comeback with a clutch interception late in the game.

With Denver down 24-17 and more than five minutes left, Thomas Keiser pulled in the crucial pick for the Chargers after Corey Liuget pressured Manning and knocked his arm during the throw.

It allowed Nick Novak to kick a 35-yarder and pad the lead to 10 points. Denver scored a late field goal but had no time to push to tie the game.   Continued...

Dec 12, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (13) scores his second touchdown in front of Denver Broncos cornerback Kayvon Webster (36) in the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports