NFL Game Recap - LA Chargers at Denver
Sun Dec 1, 2019 4:25 PM EST

CHI
24
DET
20
F
BUF
26
DAL
15
F
NO
26
ATL
18
F
CLE
13
PIT
20
F
GB
31
NYG
13
F
PHI
31
MIA
37
F
TB
28
JAX
11
F
SF
17
BAL
20
F
TEN
31
IND
17
F
NYJ
6
CIN
22
F
WAS
29
CAR
21
F
LAR
34
ARI
7
F
LAC
20
DEN
23
F
OAK
9
KC
40
F
NE
22
HOU
28
F
MIN
30
SEA
37
F

Dec 1, 2019, 4:25 PM EST

Final

1

2

3

4

T

LA Chargers (4-8)

0

10

0

10

20

Denver (4-8)

14

3

0

6

23

McManus’ 53-yard field goal lifts Denver past Chargers 23-20
Sun Dec 1, 2019 9:57 PM

DENVER (AP) Take a chance before halftime? No way.

Take a knee for overtime? Not a chance.

Vic Fangio bypassed a shot at a historic field goal with 1 second left in the first half because "it wasn't desperation time." When the Broncos got the ball back at their 28 with 9 seconds left and the game tied, he went for it.

Offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello "said just take a knee," Fangio said, "and I said no."

Fangio recounted the discussion after Denver's stunning 23-20 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday that included two field goals in the final 14 seconds.

"First, I was looking for a big play that could get a big chunk over the middle, bang a timeout, and we didn't like that as much. I said, 'Let's go down the sideline and see what happens."'

What happened was receiver Courtland Sutton collided with cornerback Casey Hayward Jr.

"I thought it was OPI (offensive pass interference)," said Chargers coach Anthony Lynn.

Nope, it was defensive pass interference.

"I was trying to find the ball myself," Hayward said. "I think I have the same rights to the ball as he does. ... He ran into me. I had my ground."

Doesn't matter, suggested Sutton.

"In that situation they know they've got to throw that flag," Sutton said. "They don't want to throw it in an end-of-game situation, but if you make them throw it playing through the defender for the ball they have to call it no matter what."

The Chargers (4-8) argued vehemently about the call that gave the Broncos (4-8) the ball at the Chargers 35-yard line with 3 seconds remaining, allowing Brandon McManus a shot at being the hero, if not historic.

His 53-yard field goal as time expired capped a furious final 14 seconds and gave the Broncos a sweep of their AFC West rivals.

Rookie quarterback Drew Lock's debut win for Denver included a pair of touchdown throws to Sutton but just 134 yards passing and it came a month after Brandon Allen beat Cleveland. It made the Broncos the first team in league history to have two quarterbacks start and win their NFL debuts in the same season.

"I thought beating Arkansas my junior year was really cool," said Lock, a second-round pick from Missouri. "But winning your first start is definitely a little cooler."

Phillip Rivers drove the Chargers to the tying field goal, a 46-yarder by Michael Badgley with 14 seconds left and was prepared for overtime when Diontae Spencer returned the kickoff 26 yards to the Denver 28.

"We had a thought of kneeling at first," Lock said, "but we saw Spencer bring it out the way he did. So we thought, all right, let's try to get to the 50, a little past the 50 and give Brandon a chance."

The Chargers continued jawing with both the Broncos and the officiating crew as the Broncos ran onto the field following McManus' winner.

Rivers overcame an early interception, his eighth in three games, and a 17-3 deficit with touchdown throws of 30 yards to Austin Ekeler and 36 yards to Keenan Allen. Rivers completed a 38-yard pass to Mike Williams on fourth-and-11 in the closing minutes to get the Chargers in range for the tying field goal.

Badgley missed a 55-yarder off the left upright with 9 minutes remaining after Derek Wolfe's second sack of Rivers - his career-best seventh of the season - pushed the Chargers back 5 yards

NO SHOT

With a second left in the first half, McManus trotted out for an attempt at an NFL record 65-yard field goal with not a hint of wind. But he was summoned back to the sideline after the Chargers sent return man Desmond King II deep in case the kick was short. McManus was furious, ripping off his helmet and slamming it to the ground.

"I knew I could make it, they've seen me make it in practice and we're right at the line that I gave him," said McManus, who lined up at the exact spot when he came back from halftime and made the practice kick through the uprights in the north end zone.

A subtle message.

"Of course it is," said McManus, explaining "I know I can make the kick and this is a storied game that I grew up watching, it's a dream of mine to play in this league, and if I was able to have my name mentioned as the longest field goal in NFL history I would love that."

Fangio said he's seen many a kicker alter their mechanics to attempt an extra-long kick and that affects them on subsequent attempts, a notion McManus scoffed at: "Does a Hail Mary change the way a quarterback throws the ball?"

INJURIES

Broncos: RG Ron Leary left with a concussion in the fourth quarter. ... Wolfe went out after injuring an elbow with 2:22 remaining. ... Von Miller's 95-game starting streak was snapped when he was deactivated with a left knee injury.

UP NEXT

Chargers: visit the Jacksonville Jaguars on Dec. 8.

Broncos: visit the Houston Texans on Dec. 8.

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Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Passing

LAC Att Cmp % TD-Pa Yds-Pa LgPa Int Rat Sk
P. Rivers 29 20 69.0 2 265 52 1 106.3 3
DEN Att Cmp % TD-Pa Yds-Pa LgPa Int Rat Sk
D. Lock 28 18 64.3 2 134 33 1 84.5 0

Rushing

LAC Att Yds-Ru Avg LgRu TD-Ru
M. Gordon III 20 99 5.0 19 0
A. Ekeler 9 16 1.8 8 0
DEN Att Yds-Ru Avg LgRu TD-Ru
P. Lindsay 17 58 3.4 15 0
D. Lock 3 15 5.0 8 0

Receiving

LAC Rec Yds-Rc Avg LgRc TD-Rc
M. Williams 5 117 23.4 52 0
K. Allen 6 68 11.3 36 1
DEN Rec Yds-Rc Avg LgRc TD-Rc
C. Sutton 4 74 18.5 33 2
J. Heuerman 3 15 5.0 7 0

Team Stats Comparison

LAC DEN
Points For 20 23
Total Yards 359 218
Rushing Yards 115 84
Passing Yards 244 134
Passing Completions / Attempts 20/29 18/28
Turnovers 2 1
Interceptions Thrown 1 1
Fumbles - Lost 1/1 0/0
First Downs 17 13
Rushing Touchdowns 0 0
Passing Touchdowns 2 2
Penalties - Yards 7/82 3/25
Time Of Possession 32:09 27:51
Third Down Conversions/Attempts 5/15 7/15
Fourth Down Conversions/Attempts 1/1 0/0
Red Zone Conversions/Attempts 0/1 1/2
Sacks Against 3 0
Punts - Average Yards 4/45 5/45
Punt Returns - Average Yards/Punt Return 1/0 0/0
Kickoff Returns - Average Yards/Kickoff Return 0/0 2/28

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter LAC DEN
DEN 10:27 TD Courtland Sutton 26 yd pass from Drew Lock (Brandon McManus kick) 0 7
DEN 14:44 TD Courtland Sutton 5 yd pass from Drew Lock (Brandon McManus kick) 0 14
2nd Quarter LAC DEN
LAC 5:33 FG Michael Badgley 30 yd FG 3 14
DEN 9:28 FG Brandon McManus 31 yd FG 3 17
LAC 14:30 TD Austin Ekeler 30 yd pass from Philip Rivers (Michael Badgley kick) 10 17
3rd Quarter LAC DEN
No scores this quarter
4th Quarter LAC DEN
LAC 2:42 TD Keenan Allen 36 yd pass from Philip Rivers (Michael Badgley kick) 17 17
DEN 10:34 FG Brandon McManus 52 yd FG 17 20
LAC 14:46 FG Michael Badgley 46 yd FG 20 20
DEN 15:00 FG Brandon McManus 53 yd FG 20 23

Game Information

Stadium: Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado
Attendance: 74,638
Game Time: 3:01
Weather: