The San Diego Chargers crumbled on national television on Monday by surrendering five unanswered touchdowns in the second half to the Denver Broncos in a tale of two halfs, 35-24.
Peyton Manning completed 24 passes on 30 attempts for 309 yards and three touchdowns in the comeback victory. It was the greatest deficit that Manning has ever overcome.
Manning was particularly sharp in the second half. He completed 13-of-14 passes for 167 yards, and had two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter.
But as much as the Broncos can be credited with the victory, the Chargers can be blamed for a poor second half, after leading 24-0 at halftime.
Philip Rivers threw for 242 yards on 25-42 passing to go along with two touchdowns. But most of Rivers's success was in the first half, and the veteran quarterback had an error-prone second half. He finished with four interceptions (three in the fourth quarter) and also had two fumbles.
"Philip Rivers had a horrible second half," said television analyst and Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, who is often diplomatic with his responses.
The Chargers defense also had its share of miscues. The unit struggled with tackling and failed to break up Manning's long passes.
San Diego finished with a total of six turnovers.
The Chargers and Broncos are both 3-3 and lead the AFC West.