Game-winning drive could save Broncos' season


CARSON, Calif. – For those with the Denver Broncos' bounce-backs may have come in a soccer stadium, roughly half-filled with their fans.

That is, if the Broncos (4-6) can do something to build off Sunday's 23-22 win over the Los Angeles Chargers in the StubHub Center.

The broncos looked like the team they've been telling everyone they could be. They were a hard-nosed, grindty bunch on defense, create turnovers and put their offense in position to score.

"We'll see, it's one game," said Broncos coach Vance Joseph. "Our motto after the bye was winning the day, so we'll see about that."

"Said just running we got on the good end," said running back Phillip Lindsay.

Case Keenum saved from the fourth quarter against the Chargers. Harry How / Getty Images

Chargers quarterback Broncos sacked him three times. They intercepted Rivers twice, too, and those picks came from the biggest names on the defensive marquee: Chris Harris, Jr. and Von Miller.

Brandon McManus' 34-yard kick as time expired, they, finally, closed the deal.

While they did not keep them in the right thumb – he finished with 401 passing yards, his 11th career 400-yard game – they did unsettle him at some opportune times. The third quarter of the third quarter. But in the final quarter that number dropped to 1-of-4.

They were done in this season's struggles, they continued to play hard for Joseph. The coach's name has been ever present with those on the "hot seat."

"This team deserves to win," Harris said.

"We did it in dramatic fashion," wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said. "… but one game at a time, we're trying to get this thing turned around."

The Broncos have pushed the Kansas City Chiefs (twice), the Los Angeles Rams and the Houston Texans to the limit, but they did not get much reward, having lost all four of those games by the total of 16 points. Yet here they were Sunday, having exited their week with the fight, grit and just enough points to win a slug-it-out day.

Make no mistake, they can not be cured, not by long shot. Their offense was a mish-mash of struggle for much of the day, so much so that punter Colby Wadman had the longest completion of the day – 12 yards – through the end of the third quarter.

They are still at work, they can be teamed up. They get a little too infatuated with their three-receiver sets, especially in their post-Demaryius Thomas-trade life.

Sunday, May 12th, 2011 at the end of the ball Sunday, Keenum saved his best for the first time in the fourth quarter alone, the defense swirled around It could be an incomplete pass and the Broncos finally, 10 games into the season.

"We had no choice," Keenum said. "… Our goal this week was 1-0 and it was all 60 minutes and it was worth it."

And with the Raiders, Browns, 49ers, Bengals and a second shot at the Chargers to close out the season.

The Steelers are next to the Broncos show a little more than they did Sunday maybe they'll get a few more folks to pay attention to what they've been saying. For one day, however, the Broncos kept their word.



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