Chargers got two first downs on opening drive. Two sacks on opening drive. Former Charger Shaun Phillips had the latter to scuttle
The first Denver possession started slow and need an early third and long conversion to get going. It included a nice Welker playoff drop because what would be a postseason be without that? As the Broncos moved into field goal range, Peyton went deep and nearly threw an interception that was dropped by Shareece Wright in the red zone. That was about as good a chance for the Chargers to stop that drive and it ended with a touchdown throw to Demaryius Thomas.
The following San Diego possession went three and out after the offense was backed up to 3rd and 12 by a delay of game penalty. Rivers then threw to Keenan Allen short of the first down and when it didn’t draw the desperation PI flag, it was back to punting.
At that point, it looked like the Broncos were about to run away with the game. But then Julius Thomas caught a pass near midfield and fumbled, though it was questionable whether Thomas ever fully had possession, it was upheld by review. Would the Chargers even parlay that into any points? Haha, no. Some nice running by Ryan Mathews got them just far enough into field goal range for Nick Novak to shank a 53-yard attempt when his plant foot slid on the grass.
After surviving that one minor setback, Denver just went about their business of taking it to San Diego. A touchdown pass to Wes Welker gave Peyton the all-time TD record for most scores in the regular season and postseason combined and naturally gave Jim Nantz a veiny diamond cutter in his pants.
Chargers did nothing with the ball and still haven’t completed a pass to one of their wide receivers through one half. They punt, and Eric Decker broke 40 tackles and kicked the punter in the head only to trip on the turf monster (a thing for him) at the Chargers’ 30.
Closing in on putting away the Chargers with a potential 21-0 lead at half, Peyton’s third down pass deflected off the shoulder of a receiver in the end zone and into the hands of Donald Butler. A huge break for San Diego, provided they can actually sustain consistent offense, which isn’t all that likely at this point.