Down 24? No problem
Manning-led Broncos erase huge deficit, topple Chargers
Peyton Manning threw three touchdown passes in the second half and Tony Carter and Chris Harris scored off turnovers by Philip Rivers as the Denver Broncos overcame a 24-0 halftime deficit to stun the San Diego Chargers 35-24 on Monday night in San Diego.
Manning was 13 of 14 for 167 yards in the second half for the Broncos (3-3) who tied the Chargers atop the AFC West.
Rivers was intercepted four times – three in the fourth quarter – and lost two fumbles.
Manning’s 21-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Stokley gave Denver its first lead of the game, 28-24 with 9:03 left. Stokley outleaped Chargers defensive back Marcus Gilchrist to catch the ball, and then got both feet down before tumbling out of the end zone.
Harris sealed the victory with a 46-yard interception return for a touchdown with 2:05 left. It was his second pick of the night.
Manning finished 24 of 30 for 309 yards with one interception.
• Stadium golf took on a new meaning for Phil Mickelson, who overshot the big money targets on his 100-yard shot at halftime of Monday night’s game. He still raised $50,000 for First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides new books for needy children.
Had he hit one of the concentric rings in the middle of the green in the “KPMG Chip4Charity” promotion, Mickelson could have raised anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million for the charity.
As it is, the $50,000 will buy 20,000 books.
Mickelson took his wedge shot from one end zone at Qualcomm Stadium. The target green was in the other end zone.
Lewis out for season
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will miss the remainder of the season with an arm injury, an enormous blow to an already depleted defense that has uncharacteristically struggled this year.
Lewis tore his right triceps during Sunday’s 31-29 victory over Dallas. The 37-year-old Lewis leads Baltimore in tackles and is the voice of experience in the huddle.
Over a spectacular 17-year career, Lewis, who turns 38 in May, has been invited to 13 Pro Bowls, was named Super Bowl MVP and is a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year
Baltimore also lost cornerback Lardarius Webb for the year after he tore the ACL in his left knee Sunday.
Saints Vilma could practice this week
Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo says he believes Jonathan Vilma will be able to return to practice on Wednesday.
Vilma, who is appealing a season-long suspension in connection with the NFL’s bounty investigation of the Saints, remains on the club’s physically unable to perform list, meaning he could not practice on Monday. However, Vilma is eligible to be activated today, which is a day off for the Saints.
Hasselbeck will again start for hurt Locker
Tennessee quarterback Matt Hasselbeck will start his third straight game when the Titans visit Buffalo on Sunday, and injured Jake Locker could be healthy enough to return in a week.
Doctors checked Locker’s left, non-throwing shoulder again Monday. Coach Mike Munchak said he didn’t have the results, but that the quarterback is healing up enough that he may start throwing later this week.
There is no quarterback controversy. Munchak says Locker will play when healthy. Locker dislocated his shoulder Sept. 30 in a loss at Houston.
Browns rookie running back Trent Richardson sustained a rib cartilage injury in Sunday’s win over Cincinnati. Coach Pat Shurmur said that Richardson “is fine and day to day.”. … The Buffalo Bills have re-signed Shawne Merriman to bolster their banged-up defense.