The Chargers improved to 4-1 and picked up their first road win of 2011, hanging on for a 29-24 victory at Denver’s Sports Authority Field. The Chargers led 23-10 at the half and dominated the Broncos statistically. Denver’s lone touchdown came via a 55-yard interception return. Tim Tebow came on for an ineffective Kyle Orton in the second half and led the Broncos to a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns, but the Chargers’ defense prevented a third in the game’s final seconds as the Bolts hung on for the win.
Game Rewind: San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos
Nick Novak hit a career-high five field goals and was a perfect 5-for-5 on the day, including a career-long 51-yarder...Novak also forced touchbacks on seven of his eight kickoffs...his fifth field goal, a 35-yarder with 24 seconds left, gave the Chargers a five point lead and forced Denver to try and win the game with a touchdown.
Patrick Crayton ignited the Chargers’ first field goal drive with a season-long 29-yard punt return.
Donald Butler intercepted his first NFL pass off Kyle Orton in the first quarter...Shaun Phillips helped force the interception by pressuring Orton.
Ryan Mathews rushed for a career-high 125 yards and set up a late first quarter field goal with a career-long 36-yard run...it was Mathews’ second-career 100-yard game, both coming in Denver’s Sports Authority Field.
Philip Rivers scored the Chargers’ first touchdown of the game on a two-yard run in the second quarter...it was his third career rushing score and first since 2009...Kory Sperry helped set up the score with a 32-yard catch, his first of the season.
Malcom Floyd had 100 yards receiving on three catches and closed out the first half with a 42-yard TD catch to give the Bolts a 23-10 lead...late in the fourth quarter, Floyd’s 38-yard catch on a 3rd-and-10 set up the field goal that gave the Chargers a 29-24 lead, forcing Denver to drive for a game-winning touchdown instead of a field goal.
Randy McMichael caught his 400th career pass early in the third quarter...he became the 27th tight end in NFL history to reach the 400-catch mark.
Antoine Cason made a huge play to break up a pass to Brandon Lloyd in the end zone on a two-point conversion attempt after Denver scored to get within 26-24 with 3:30 left in the fourth quarter.
Jacob Hester rushed for a career-best 47 yards on a career-high 11 carries, taking over as the team’s primary ball carrier after Ryan Mathews (calf) and Mike Tolbert (concussion) both were forced from the game with injuries.
Dante Hughes got a hand in to help break up the pass on Denver’s Hail Mary into the end zone on the last play of the game.