The Union Recorder

Local Sports

October 16, 2012

Manning's 3 TD passes spur Broncos' comeback

SAN DIEGO — Down 24-0 at halftime, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos reveled after one of the biggest comebacks in NFL regular-season history.

On the flip side, the San Diego Chargers were saddled with an enormous collapse.

Manning threw three touchdown passes in the second half and Tony Carter and Chris Harris scored off turnovers by Philip Rivers as the Broncos overcame a 24-0 halftime deficit to shock the Chargers 35-24 on Monday night.

Asked if he'd ever been a part of such a big comeback, Carter replied: "Only in Pop Warner football."

It took a quarterback of Manning's caliber to pull this one out.

"It sure was special considering what was on the line," said Manning, a Super Bowl winner and four-time NFL MVP who's in his first season with the Broncos.

Manning was 13 of 14 for 167 yards in the second half for the Broncos (3-3) who tied the Chargers (3-3) atop the AFC West.

It tied for the fourth-biggest regular-season comeback in NFL history.

Manning had been 1-5 in his last six games against San Diego, all with Indianapolis.

Rivers was intercepted four times — three in the fourth quarter — and lost two fumbles. The four pickoffs and six turnovers were both career highs.

A week earlier, the Chargers blew a 10-point lead in the third quarter in a 31-24 loss at New Orleans.

"When you lose it's rough, especially in a game where you had a big lead and so much at stake," Rivers said.

"It's bad," San Diego linebacker Takeo Spikes said. "Every adjective you can come up with as far as disappointment, it covers it."

The Broncos seemed finished after an awful first half in which Manning served up an 80-yard interception return for a touchdown by Quentin Jammer and two special teams fumbles led to 10 points for the Chargers.

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