Instead of the Chargers’ offense using the same formula they used to beat the Broncos, Denver decided to try out that blueprint and were successful. Running the ball with Knowshon Moreno and eating away at the clock was key in the Broncos win to help them advance to the AFC Championship Game for the first time since 2005. Peyton Manning was like a surgeon on the field, using short passes to help move the chains and to keep the clock moving. The game plan worked for the first three quarters as the Chargers’ offense did not get on the scoreboard until early in the fourth quarter. Credit the defense of the Broncos as well for getting off the field in key situations and frustrating Phillip Rivers and the offense for 45 solid minutes.
Keeping Rivers on the sideline was helpful for the team. It prevented him from scoring on offense and forced the defense to make the plays. With the defense forcing two turnovers, you would think that would have helped the cause but it did not at all. The fumble recovery only resulted in a missed field goal by Nick Novak and the interception only stalled a red-zone trip that if the Broncos had scored, they would have been up 21-0 at the half.
The offense and defense, perhaps for the first time all season, were in sync with each other and it resulted in a big win. While the Broncos only won by seven, the score in this game did not tell the whole story. Up until about 10 minutes left in the game, the Broncos were in firm control. If they can carry on this success, there is no doubt that the end results will be great.