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Published on 10/16/2012 at Tue Oct 16 17:09.
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Broncos 35, Chargers 24 — it’s historic, epic, in-your-face Philip Rivers Game Balls time.

Tony Carter

Tony Carter – I tweeted after Carter’s interception that, win or lose he got my game ball. I know we don’t normally give game balls for losses, but I was willing to make an exception for him. Luckily I don’t have to. This is Carter’s fourth year in the league. Believe it or not, he was with the Broncos in 2009 and 2011 (he spent 2010 with the Patriots) and barely saw the field; in all 3 previous years, he saw action only in the last few games of the season, meaning he was almost certainly an injury replacement for someone else. He barely made the team this year, but he flat-out outplayed the former charger Drayton Florence and made the team despite the $1.5 million (rather foolishly) invested in Florence. The only reason he was even active is that Tracy Porter couldn’t make the trip due to an illness that made him too lightheaded to play.

And while I don’t want to say It Was All Him, he sure did make the most of the opportunity on the Monday Night Lights. He scooped up the fumble and ran it back for a touch down, and then he steps in front and picks off Rivers at a critical moment. He only logged two tackles, but thanks to excellent play from the pass rush, he benefited from his good coverage. I am not going to agree with the tweets that say Tracy Porter lost his job, but I sure feel more comfortable knowing that our depth at corner has some ability to play. — E. Halsey Miles

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning – We can’t allow ourselves to be numbed by continued greatness from Peyton Manning, not to the point where we fail to acknowledge it. He completed all but one pass in the second half. When the Broncos needed him to be perfect, he was, and his pass to Brandon Stokley in the right side of the end zone really was. – Monty

Jack Del Rio

Jack Del Rio – Last week, the Broncos defensive backfield seemed to just let the Patriots wide receivers and tight ends run untouched from the line of scrimmage. It felt like it was just easy pass and catch for Tom Brady and company. I found myself screaming at the television to jam the effing wide outs. Jack Del Rio must of heard me (right? haha), cause the Broncos defensive backfield on Monday night was physical at the line and disrupted the timing of the receivers all night long.

Del Rio didn’t just do that, he also taught them how to force a turnover. Champ Bailey needs to start taking some notes, even though wide receivers rarely catch a ball thrown his way anyhow. All in all, the Broncos defense was dominating all night long, even down 24-0 – I only blame the defense for 7 of those points. There is going to be several more Broncos blowouts in the coming weeks people, so enjoy the ride!

Oh, and Elvis Dumervil is still elite, in case any of you were doubting him. — Tim Lynch

Wesley Woodyard

Wesley Woodyard — There was a report just before the game via Denver’s 104.3’s ‘D-Mac’ that Joe Mays was being replaced at middle linebacker because of a lack of reiteration from the Denver Broncos’ defensive play calling to the huddle… Meaning that plays that were being called were not being translated within the huddle, thus veteran linebacker Keith Brooking took over at middle linebacker and Woodyard took over as the mic’ed in linebacker.

Woodyard translated that into what is assumed as great play calling and nine tackles (six solo), all while maintaining a defense that has been reluctant to reign him as the captain of them all… A defense that despite the score gave up one touchdown in which the ball was given to the San Diego Chargers within their own twenty… And only one more score. A defense that allowed no scores in the second half.

Not enough? Hey, he also covered phenomenal tight end Antonio Gates for a bunch of plays in which Gates did not have a reception. I have been reluctant to give Woodyard any credit this season, but this man, a stand-up citizen deserves full credit. A man among men. — Ian Henson

Chris Harris

Chris Harris — I was going to give this Game Ball to Philip Rivers, but Chris Harris intercepted it.

Philip Rivers — Oh, never mind. Chris Harris just intercepted it again. – Monty

  • Kawike

    The Chris Harris game ball made me laugh out loud in my organizational behavior class. Curse you for your funniness. :)

  • MeOMy

    I nominate Vikerson or maybe it’s Banning, I can’t remember. Which ever one it was, they were covering the TE or RB on the check down.

    This has been my biggest problem with the D for a long time. The TE or RB always seems to burn Denver for a lot of yards on the check down pass. Denver has two really good edge rushers but it always leaves these check down options open.

    I don’t know if Vikerson did it on his own or if one of the coaches said something. Either way his play forced Rivers to make bad throws that got intercepted. The magic of these other guys doesn’t happen without the play of Vikerson or which ever DT that was.

  • Bryan

    Agree with the ones you guys selected, but I’d also give one to Ayers for knocking the fumble back to a place one of our guys could get to it, instead of letting it go into a pile up. Total heads up play. With such of an epic comeback, I’d give a ball to the whole team and coaching staff for not throwing in the towel when alot of Bronco Nation probably already chalked this up at the half as a loss.
    Get rested up boys and be ready to hand Nawlins another loss!

  • E. Halsey Miles

    I also totally forgot to mention the pass deflected with the helmet bounce that Carter had. I feel bad for missing that, it was such a fun play. Plus I thought it was going to be picked off, too!

  • Aaron Harvey

    I was watching Clady closely this game and he just man handled any pass rush they tried on his side. They rarely got a sniff of Manning all night. My ball goes to Clady. Hope they find a way to keep him.

  • Josh Temple

    Nice observation. I’m getting a little tired of the Chris Kuper is the clear cut best lineman on this team argument LT is far more difficult to play in the NFL so when Ryan is on his game he takes that title in my opinion. That’s not taking anything away from Kuper at all.

  • Paradisimo

    Carter and Harris both had great games but I think they both need a little criticism for hot-dogging it on their way into the end zone. I swear Chris Harris almost lost the ball on the 10 yard line when he got too flashy. Just score the TD and then celebrate any way that you like.

  • TheTroglodyte

    Yeah that was damn funny Kyle!

  • Jason Holm

    I saw that, too. It’s a good thing it wasn’t DT running with the ball, he would have dropped it. :-/

  • Tim Lynch

    Ayers/McD haters are gonna come for you on this one. lol ;)

  • Bryan

    How dare you bring up that name?!?! LOL.
    That’s fine man.. Those same haters will turn a blind eye to the McD picks that are still producing as a Bronco.
    Daily link material Tim..Dwayne Bowe wants out of KC like yesterday! Sounds like Miami is going to land him. I’ve always like Bowe..but I sure won’t miss him from this division! I wouldn’t mind seeing him line up opposite DT however.