Schon: Broncos Game Blog 11/19

With the AFC West on the line, San Diego brings it's high powered offense to Invesco Field. Follow all the action as Broncos Update syndicated columnist Schon gives us all the latest on tonight's game.

Beautiful night for football – 70,000+ freaks decked out in Broncos blue ready to make some NOISE. It may not be a true playoff atmosphere, but the implications for first place in the AFC West bring out the crazies...

Random pre-game thoughts -
If I was Jake Plummer, I would petition the NFL to burn that stale, 70's – porno-cheap mustache headshot they've used the past two-years. At least step up to last year's shaggy look – I loved it - kind of reminded me of Adam Sandler's homeless caddy in Happy Gilmore.

Its Alumni Weekend so they brought out the heavyweights – Jumbotron seems focused on some blonde dude with a big smile and a lot of teeth. I missed the introduction, but I believe he's a local car salesman.

Turf-toe Part Two – Tatum Bell is inactive as is Cedric Cobbs. Others rounding out the list include – WR's Quincy Morgan and Brian Clark, DE Patrick Chukwurah, DT Antwon Burton, G Chris Kuper and rookie TE Tony Scheffler.

San Diego Chargers win the toss and elect to receive – Welcome to Sunday Night Football – grab a cold one…Chargers open up the run with Tomlinson grabbing a couple – third and one Lerenzo Neal gets the carry and the first at the 34-yard line. Broncos face-mask moves the chains and the Chargers near mid-field.

Broncos "D" birngs the pressure - 3rd and nine - Rivers pass falls incomplete but Denver gets flagged for off-sides Chargers get another chance. That's two defensive penalties on this drive - Rivers hits Keenan McCardell for a first - ANOTHER defensive penalty (offsides) for Gerard Warren. Broncos limit Tomlinson but can seem to shake the flags.

Ian Gold absolutely nails Rivers on third down – pass comes up incomplete and Chargers are forced to punt – Broncos take over on their own nine…

Mike Bell grabs a quick six on first down while Plummer misfires to Walker on the second – 3rd and four from the fifteen brings out another incomplete and Denver's opening drive last less than my last cigarette break…

Ernster nails a 54-yarder that the Chargers return to the 49 – short field for Rivers – quick toss gets deflected and Nick Ferguson grabs the int.

Chargers get some payback – Jamal Williams introduces Plummer to the pavement – pass falls incomplete. Short run up the middle and an incomplete to Bell brings Ernster back out – beautiful punt, Curome Cox traps it at the 2-yard line and the crowd slowly begins to wake up.

Third and eight – Rivers hits Tomlinson for nine – First and ten from the seventeen – Chargers are using a nice – run/short pass combination and gaining ground. Rivers hits a 26-yard completion while Tomlinson nails 24-yards on the ground – San Diego moves it to the Broncos 26 and suddenly they're making it look easy. Tomlinson around the left side and the Chargers bust out a 7-0 lead with .08 remaining in the opening quarter. Nice 99-yard drive for SD – this could get ugly real quick….

Bell pulls off a nice runback on the kick, but it's coming back on a Nate Jackson facemask penalty – what would have been the 23-yard line is now the 12-yard line and Plummer looks to regroup.

Bell again - around the right side for a couple – Chargers get their first flag and with another chance Denver finally gets a first as the quarter comes to a close. Unimpressive to say the least…

Third and eleven and Plummer connects on a sweet little screen pass to Bell good for 13 – Damian Nash follows up with 26-yard carry and the Broncos finally make it past midfield at the San Diego 41.

(TECHNICAL GLITCH – Connection in the Press Box goes down and Broncos techs come to the rescue – unfortunately we lost nearly two quarters of the Blog)

QUICK RECAP – (The Readers Digest version for the electronically impaired) Broncos continue to drive as Plummer pulls off a 13-play, 88-yard drive – capped off with Mike Bell carrying it in from the three to tie the score at 7-7.

Chargers – three and out
Broncos - three and out
Chargers – three and out
Blah – Blah – Blah…..
Plummer Part Two – The Snake pulls of another nice drive – 8-plays, 86-yards and Bell doubles up on his output for the game – another 3-yard rung pushes the score to 14-7 as the first half comes to a close.

(still backtracking thanks to the electronic age)
Broncos take the second half kick and roll with it – 7 play, 23-yards and Jason Elam splits the uprights as Denver pull ahead 17-7. The score doesn't last long – Philip Rivers gets picked by Darrent Williams who busts out a nice 31-yard return for the score and the Broncos hold a 24-7 lead with 9:35 remaining in the third.

Now the Chargers are P.O'd – Rivers leads two beautiful drives – both of which end up with LaDainian Tomlinson finding the end zone. The first came off a short 3-yard carry, the second – a bust it open 51-yard "I can outrun anybody" show stopper.

So here we are back again LIVE as the third quarter comes to a close and the Charger have cut the Broncos lead to 24-21 with fifteen minutes remaining for lead in the AFC West. NBC's gotta love this one…

Cut to the chase – Broncos ball on the 45-yard line and Shanny gambleson a fourth and one – pitch out to Bell picks up the first and moves the ball to the SD 42-yard line. Sapp makes an appearance for a couple brining up second down – Plummer to (guess who) Javon Walker –first down at the Chargers 18-yard line – just to bust the momentum Marty Shottenheimer challenges the spot Walker went out of bounds…

Play stands – Marty drops a time out….

An incomplete to Walker and a misguided QB sneak brings up a critical 3rd and seven from the Chargers fifteen – Broncos desperately need a touchdown on this drive. – with the pressure on Plummer fumbles out of the shotgun and on fourth Denver is forced to settle for another Elam field goal and a 27-21 lead. It's all up to the "D" now – one score and the Chargers regain a lead they haven't seen in nearly three quarters now.

Ernster sails it to the goal line – something happens – special teams forgets how to cover – Chargers break loose a 45-yard return. One play later they're in scoring position thanks to Tomlinson. Williams moves it even closer with a 16-yard pick up – Antonio Gates grabs one and the Chargers face secnd and four from the 18. Tomlinson gets stuffed – third and three and Rivers hits Gates again for a first at the seven-yard line, first and goal…

Rivers connects with Vincent Jackson and the Broncos lead disappears faster than Madonna's makeup. Shanny's looking at 6:45 on the clock, trailing by one and Jake Plummer's behind center - being a coach must be tough...

Sapp takes a knee in the end zone for a touchback.

Bell heads up the middle for five – he's gotta be pushing toward 100-yards at this point, Two more Bell carries net a first and move the ball to the 32-yard line.

Pitch out to Damien Nash sniffed out by San Diego and he is dropped for a seven yard loss.

An incomplete pass brings up a 4th and 4. Jake Plummer throws an interception and San Diego takes over. LaDanian Tomlinson runs the ball to the 10 yard line and on the next play is stopped just short of the goal line. \

After the two minute warning, Phillip Rivers sneaks for no gain. On third down, LaDainian Tomlinson scores a touchdown and the score is 35-27 with 1:14 left in the game.

Ian Gold and Darrent Williams are both flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and San Diego will kick off from the Denver 40.

Cecil Sapp fields the punt on the two yard line. A penalty moves the ball half way back to the goal.

Passes to Stephen Alexander and Javon Walker move the Broncos down the field.

San Diego lineman Igor Olshansky lays a haymaker on center Tom Nalen after Jake Plummer spikes the ball and is ejected from the game. A delay of game against the Chargers moves the ball further down the field.

With 24 seconds left in the game, on second down Jake Plummer is hit from the blind side, fumbles the ball. Denver recovers but time expires.

After facing a 17 point deficit, the Chargers storm back to win the game 35-27. The Broncos fall to second place in the AFC West behind San Diego with a 6-3 record.

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