Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/18/12
DENVER -- Peyton Manning kept the Denver Broncos on a roll, throwing for three touchdowns in a 30-23 victory over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. The Broncos completed the first series sweep of their AFC West rival in seven years. It was the fifth win in a row for the division-leading Broncos (7-3), who began their streak when they roared back from a 24-0 halftime deficit to beat the Chargers 35-24 at San Diego on Oct. 15. Sunday's loss was the latest damaging blow for San Diego (4-6). With the Chargers' playoff hopes fading, questions are swirling around the future of coach Norv Turner. Philip Rivers fought through a tough day, failing to convert a third down until the second half and taking four sacks while throwing two interceptions and fumbling three times, losing one. He finished 24 of 40 for 258 yards and two touchdowns, both to Danario Alexander, including a 21-yarder with 1:24 remaining. The Chargers tried an onside kick, but Virgil Green recovered for Denver. After the Broncos were forced to punt, San Diego got the ball back on its 13-yard line with 23 seconds remaining. Elvis Dumervil had a second-down sack of Rivers, and time ran out. Manning completed 25 of 42 passes for 270 yards. He increased his career touchdown-pass total to 423, giving him sole possession of second place on the all-time list. He also moved into a tie for second place all time with Hall of Famer and current Broncos executive John Elway with his 148th regular-season victory. Von Miller increased his season sack total to a career-high 13 with three more on Sunday, twice forcing fumbles, including one that set up a touchdown. He led a strong defensive effort by the Broncos that saw them deny San Diego's first 12 third-down attempts, stretching their streak to 26 in a row spanning the past three games before Chargers finally converted one. Denver also got a lift from the return of linebacker D.J. Williams, who served NFL-imposed suspensions for the first nine games of the season for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs and for an alcohol-related arrest. Williams, who resumed practicing with the team this week, had a couple of key tackles, including a tackle for loss of Ryan Mathews to help Denver register a stop after the Chargers recovered an onside kick to open the second half. Backed up near their own end zone after a San Diego punt, the Broncos gave up a safety when linebacker Shaun Phillips sacked Manning in the end zone, pulling the Chargers to within 17-9 with 12:48 left in the third quarter. Miller had a hand in stalling San Diego's momentum, swooping in on a bull rush to sack Rivers and knock the ball loose. Linebacker Wesley Woodyard scooped up the fumble and returned it 12 yards to the San Diego 25-yard line, leading to Manning's third touchdown pass of the day, a 20-yarder to Eric Decker. Rivers regrouped to lead a long touchdown drive that ended in an 8-yard scoring pass to Alexander. Denver regained a double-digit advantage when Matt Prater kicked the second of his three field goals, a 30-yarder with 10:43 left in the fourth quarter. San Diego struck first, with safety Eric Weddle intercepting a deflected Manning pass and returning it 23 yards for a touchdown. Denver ran off the next 17 points, including a second Manning touchdown pass following a block of a San Diego punt, to go in front 17-7 at halftime. Catching San Diego's secondary flat-footed after a play-fake to running back Ronnie Hillman, Manning hit a wide-open Brandon Stokley for a 31-yard touchdown on the first play after linebacker Nate Irving broke through to block Mike Scifres' punt. Denver moved in front for the first time with an assist from Woodyard, who intercepted a Rivers pass and returned it 25 yards to the San Diego 8-yard line. The Broncos netted 7 yards in three plays, settling for a 19-yard field goal by Prater that gave them a 10-7 lead with 11:33 remaining in the second quarter. The Broncos tied it up at 7 on Manning's 13-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas. The receiver was initially ruled out of bounds, but the call was challenged by Denver coach John Fox. A replay review showed that Thomas got both feet down before going out of bounds in the end zone for the score. The reversal gave Manning his 421st career touchdown pass, moving him ahead of Dan Marino for second on the all-time list. He trails only Brett Favre, who threw 508 touchdown passes. NOTES: Broncos rookie defensive back Omar Bolden suffered a concussion in the first quarter and was held out for the remainder of the game. ... Denver running back Willis McGahee did not return after going out with a knee injury in the second quarter. ... San Diego linebacker Larry English suffered a leg injury in the second quarter and did not return. ... Irving's punt block was the first for Denver since Tony Scheffler blocked one, also against San Diego, on Oct. 7, 2007. ... The Chargers have two wins in their past eight games, both against Kansas City.
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