Sunday's NFL: Broncos cool Chargers on last-second kick

By Joe Reedy
Associated Press
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers gets sacked by Denver Broncos outside linebacker Bradley Chubb during the second half.

Carson, Calif. — Brandon McManus kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired on Sunday to give the Denver Broncos a 23-22 win and snap the Los Angeles Chargers’ six-game winning streak.

Denver got the ball at its own 8 with 1:51 remaining, and Case Keenum orchestrated a seven-play, 76-yard drive. Keenum, who was 19-of-32 for 205 yards, completed five passes for 86 yards during the drive, including a 30-yarder to Courtland Sutton to the Denver 16. Keenum then spiked the ball and McManus’ kick split the uprights.

Phillip Lindsay had 11 carries for 79 yards and Sutton had three receptions for 78 yards. Denver (4-6) had lost six of seven coming into the game.

“When the game is tight, Case has made the most plays. He is a gamer,” Denver coach Vance Joseph said. “We’ve been in four or five of these games and didn’t make enough plays to win. Today we didn’t hope to win, we made plays to win.”

Philip Rivers threw for 401 yards and two touchdowns. Rivers, a 15-year veteran who completed 28 of 43 passes, also became the sixth quarterback in league history to throw at least two touchdown passes in each of his team’s first 10 games to start a season.

It was not one of the cleanest games for Rivers or the Chargers, though. Rivers threw two interceptions and Los Angeles committed 14 penalties, including 10 in the first half. Mike Badgley, who made three field goals, also missed an extra point that ended up looming large.

“The crucial mistakes that we’ve been able to stay away from, we didn’t today,” Rivers said.

Melvin Gordon had 158 yards from scrimmage (89 rushing, 69 receiving) and Keenan Allen had nine receptions for 89 yards and a touchdown for the Chargers (7-3).

A pair of first-quarter field goals by Badgley put the Chargers ahead early. Less than three minutes into the second quarter, Lindsay got a seam on blocks by right guard Billy Turner and center Connor McGovern and went 41 yards to give the Broncos a 7-6 lead.

Lindsay’s touchdown was set up the play before when the Broncos successfully executed a fake punt with punter Colby Waldman throwing a 12-yard pass to fullback Andy Janovich for a first down.

It was the second straight week the Chargers allowed a fake punt.

More NFL games

Houston 23, (at) Washington 21: Justin Reid returned an interception 101 yards to help the Texans overcome a mistake-prone Deshaun Watson for their seventh consecutive victory.

Adrian Peterson’s touchdown that put Washington up 21-20 early in the fourth quarter was the first lead change in a game involving Washington  all season.

Dallas 22, (at) Atlanta 19: Brett Maher shook off a missed extra point and kicked a 42-yard field goal on the final play.

Matt Ryan threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones for Atlanta’s only touchdown with 1:52 remaining to tie the game. But Dallas drove 51 yards in 10 plays, setting up Maher’s winning kick as time expired.

(At) Baltimore 24, Cincinnati 21: Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson juked and sprinted for 117 yards in his first NFL start, Gus Edwards ran for 115 and the Ravens ended a three-game losing streak.

Flashing the moves that enabled him to win the 2016 Heisman Trophy at Louisville, Jackson zipped in and out of the pocket for 27 carries. Though the Ravens (5-5) relied heavily on the run, Jackson also completed 13 of 19 passes for 150 yards with an interception.

(At) N.Y. Giants 38, Tampa Bay 35: Saquon Barkley ran for a career-high 142 yards and scored three touchdowns as the Giants got consecutive games for the first time since December 2016.

Eli Manning also threw two touchdowns and linebacker Alec Ogletree returned one of the Giants’ four interceptions 15 yards for another score in New York’s biggest points output of the season.

(At) New Orleans 48, Philadelphia 7: Drew Brees passed for 363 yards and four touchdowns, and the Saints won their ninth straight.

Brees completed 22 of 30 passes and did not turn the ball over, giving him 25 TD passes and only one interception this season.

Oakland 23, (at) Arizona 21: Daniel Carlson kicked a 35-yard field goal as the game ended to give Oakland a victory in a matchup of teams scraping the bottom of the NFL standings.

Derek Carr threw for two touchdowns and had completions of 32 and 20 yards on the final drive that led to Carlson’s winning kick. Carlson also had field goals of 49 and 21 yards in the second half.

(At) Indianapolis 38, Tennessee 10: Andrew Luck threw three touchdown passes and Marlon Mack and Jordan Wilkins both ran for scores. Indy (5-5) has won four straight for the first time since November 2014. Luck remained unbeaten in 10 starts against the Titans.

Tennessee (5-5) lost quarterback Marcus Mariota in the final minute of the first half after he reinjured his right elbow. Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees also was taken to a nearby hospital for observation after medical workers were called to the coaches’ box during the first quarter.