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NFL: Tebow not enough as Chargers still beat Broncos 29-24

By Austin Tyler     Oct 10, 2011 in Sports
Denver - It has been a while since the San Diego Chargers have started off this good. They have not been winning big, but they have been pulling off win after win on their way to a 4-1 record. This one came to the wire as they pulled off a 29-24 victory.
The San Diego Chargers (4-1) hosted the Denver Broncos (1-4) for a historical AFC matchup. The Broncos have been dealing with a quarterback controversy and yesterday it came to a head as Tim Tebow came in to take over for Kyle Orton. The Chargers are dealing with injuries as tight-end Antonio Gates still is not able play.
Denver got the ball to start the game and they went three and out punting the ball to the Chargers. The Chargers took over and Ryan Mathews (24 carries, 125 yards) got the ball going as he they had three straight runs. Philip Rivers (18/29, 250 yards, 1 TD, 1 Int) then connected with Mike Tolbert (3 receptions, 25 yards) with a 17-yard pass. San Diego’s drive stalled and Nick Novak came on to kick a 24-yard field-goal to make it a 3-0 lead.
The Broncos got the ball on the ensuing drive and tried to get their offense going as they moved the ball 35-yards. Willis McGahee (16 carries, 125 yards) broke a 25-yard run that set them up in San Diego territory with a first down. Orton (6/13, 34 yards, 1 Int) then threw an interception that was picked off by Donald Butler.
The Chargers then took over after the turnover, but could not convert as Rivers threw an interception. Cassius Vaughn intercepted the pass and returned it 55-yards for a touchdown and a 7-3 lead. San Diego got the ball back after the turnover and got the offense going. Mathews and Tolbert split the ball as the Chargers used the running game to get down the field. The drive stalled and Novak came on to kick another field-goal. The 32-yard field-goal by Novak made it a 7-6 game with .45 seconds left in the first quarter.
Denver then took over the ball after the field-goal and McGahee broke for a 17-yard run as they mixed the run and pass to get the offense going. Orton made a couple of passes, but the drive stalled and they had to settle for a field-goal. Matt Prater came on and kicked a 35-yard field-goal that gave the Broncos a 10-6 lead.
San Diego then got the ball and moved it quick as Rivers hit Tolbert to start the drive. Rivers and Kory Sperry linked up for his only catch of the game that went 32-yards. Rivers then finished the drive by scrambling two-yards for a touchdown. The Chargers then took a 13-10 lead with 7:19 left in the half.
The Broncos offense struggled on their next drive and was forced to punt the ball away. The Chargers got the ball and Rivers hit Malcom Floyd (3 receptions, 100 yards, 1 TD) with a 20-yard pass. Matthews then had a big run of 17-yards for that gave them a first-down. After the big gain the Chargers only got one more first-down before the drive stalled. Novak came on and made a 28-yard field-goal that made it a 16-10 Chargers lead.
The Chargers took the ball over with 1:02 left in the half as the Broncos went three and out before punting the ball away. The Chargers wasted no time as they got the ball moving down the field. Mathews had two 3-yard runs before Rivers came up and spiked the ball to stop the clock. Rivers then hit Floyd on a 42-yard touchdown pass that gave the Chargers a 23-10 lead going into halftime.
San Diego got the ball to open the second half, but they could not get into scoring position as they only moved the ball 31-yards before punting the ball away. The third quarter was scoreless as neither team could move the ball.
The Broncos decided to bring Tim Tebow (4/10, 79 yards, 1 TD) to replace Orton at quarterback in the second half. The Broncos offense still suffered as they could not get anything going under Tebow either.
The Chargers got the ball with 2:48 left in the third quarter and they took the ball into the fourth quarter, but the drive stalled and Novak came on for another field-goal. Novak made a 51-yard field-goal that made it a 26-10 lead.
With 8:54 left in the game the Broncos got the ball back after a punt, and McGahee had a 28-yard run to start the drive. Tebow then scrambled three straight plays on this drive, and the third one was a 12-yard run for a touchdown. Tebow had a 12-yard run that made it 26-16. The Broncos then went for a two-point conversion and made it a 26-18 game as McGahee ran straight up the middle.
San Diego got the ball and had trouble getting it moving. Rivers was then sacked and forced to fumble the ball. Robert Ayers forced the fumble on the sack and Andre Goodman recovered it for the Broncos. The play was reviewed and the play stood giving the Broncos the ball back with a shorten field.
With 4:38 left in the game the Broncos got the ball back and Tebow made an 8-yard run. McGahee then had a 5-yard run to give the Broncos a first down. Tebow then had a hit Knowshon Moreno (3 receptions, 40 yards, 1 TD) with a screen pass that he took 28-yards for a touchdown. The Broncos was now back in the game with the score 26-24. The Broncos tried to hit tie the game up with a two-point conversion, but Brandon Lloyd could not come up with the catch.
The Chargers got the ball back with 3:19 left in the game and they used the 2:55 of the clock to close out the game. Rivers hit Floyd on a deep pass that went for 38-yards and a first down. They had help on the drive as linebacker D.J. Williams was hit with an unnecessary roughness penalty that gave them a first-down. The drive then stalled after that Novak came on and made a 35-yard field-goal to make it a 29-24 lead.
Denver had a chance to answer with a score of their own as the Charger went into the prevent defense. Tebow then threw a pass to Lloyd who caught the ball one-handed as he was going out of bounds. The play was reviewed and then upheld as the Broncos now had a first down. Tebow then hit Daniel Fells (3 receptions, 47 yards) with a 31-yard pass to get them on the Chargers side of the field. Tebow then spiked the ball to stop the clock and give the Broncos a shoot at the endzone with .1 second left. Tebow then had a chance to tie the game up as he ran around in the pocket before throwing a hailmary that was batted down sealing the victory for the Chargers.
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