We learned something valuable about Philip Rivers’ dink and dunk passing attack during last week’s Thursday Night Football: it doesn’t work when you’re down big against a quality opponent.
Rivers threw a trio of touchdowns (two to Antonio Gates, one to Keenan Allen ) but also tossed a pair of picks as the Chargers couldn’t keep pace with the NFL’s top-scoring offense.
There would be no upset in this contest as Denver easily handled San Diego 35-21 to solidify their position atop the AFC West.
Emmanuel Sanders had a career night to lead the Broncos’ attack:
Emmanuel Sanders has MONSTER game to lead Broncos over Chargers, 35-21. Sanders: 9 Rec, 120 Yds, 3 TD pic.twitter.com/dKa9KCoJRT
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 24, 2014
But the big story of the night was Peyton Manning’s frustration with the crowd noise at home on offense.
After the game, Denver’s star quarterback clarified his angst:
“I have no problem with our fans. Our fans are great. I’ve got a problem with our scoreboard operator. I’m gonna have a little talk with him. I’m not sure what he’s doing. He was playing music, showing people — showing players dancing, getting the crowd fired up while we had the ball. I don’t think we should be doing that. I don’t think we should be showing their quarterback on the sideline. I thought that was kind of disrespectful. Our fans are great, our fans are loud, so the scoreboard operators — it wasn’t his best night.”
There truly is no worse drive killer than 70,000 sheeple barking at the Jumbotron!
Getting back to work
While no team should be embarrassed about losing at Mile High Stadium during the Peyton Manning era in Denver, the defeat does make two straight for the Bolts who were 5-1 just 14 days ago. In the blink of an eye they’ve gone from first place in the division to two full games back.
Rivers and Co. will get a second crack at Denver in week 15, but if they harbor any hopes of winning the division they’ll need to make up ground before the Broncos come to town.
In theory, they’ve got an easy stretch coming up, traveling to Miami next week before hosting the Raiders and then the Rams. But in the NFL there are no easy games.