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Broncos-Chargers game balls: The big play wins it for Denver

In Week 11, the Denver Broncos pulled out a road win over the Los Angeles Chargers mostly due to the big play.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos pulled out an unlikely comeback win against the Los Angeles Chargers this week and it all came down to making the big plays when it mattered the most. The Chargers out-gained the Broncos by over one hundred yards, but the Broncos made the plays when the game was on the line.

Our game balls this week mostly represent the players who made those big plays that won the game.

Case Keenum

If you look at the box score, you’ll find Case Keenum completing just 59% of his passes for just 205 yards. There were no touchdown passes and no turnovers, but Keenum gets a game ball for making the throws that mattered to win the game. After hitting Emmanuel Sanders to get the Broncos to midfield, he then found Courtland Sutton over the middle on third down for the game-clinching throw. - Tim Lynch

Phillip Lindsay

Out matched and needing big games out of its offensive stars, Denver got Philip Lindsay’s best game of the season.

Philip Lindsay continues to impress and has become a much needed spark for the offense week in and week out. The undrafted rookie finished the game with 106 yards from scrimmage on just 11 rushes, and 4 catches, which averaged out to 7 yards every time he touched the ball, and added two touchdowns. Lindsay continues to make his case for offensive rookie of the year and shows no signs of slowing down as Denver continues to try to find creative ways to get him the ball. - Jeff Essary

Courtland Sutton

Courtland Sutton only caught three passes for 78 yards in the Broncos win against the Chargers. He was still an integral part of the offense, garnering 6 targets. He earns this game ball for his final catch. With Denver needing to get into field goal range, time winding down, and third down and 7 looming, Case Keenum found Sutton for 30 yards down the middle of the field. The play set up Brandon McManus game winning field goal, and put Sutton’s talent on display. He is a bright spot in the team’s future and it was great to see him contribute in such an important play. - Adam Malnati

Von Miller

Before Von Miller intercepted Philip Rivers in the third quarter, the Chargers were leading 19-7 and threatening to break the game wide open at 26-7. But Miller sniffed out the screen pass, grabbed it mid-air and then ran 41 yards to the Chargers’ 18-yard line, setting up a Royce Freeman touchdown three plays later.

Although the Chargers were still leading 19-14 at that point, the momentum clearly shifted in the Broncos’ favor, and the away team with a home crowd was able to get a go-ahead touchdown on its next drive while holding L.A. to only one more field goal in the game. A field goal, you recall, that the Broncos matched to go up by one with a few seconds left - which this time went through the uprights and gave the Broncos a much-needed win.

Miller finished with 1 INT, 1 sack (the 100th of his career) and 1 tackle for a loss - three plays Philip Rivers will likely not forget - and also joined an elite group of pass rushers to have at least 10 sacks in seven of their first eight seasons. - Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann

Colby Wadman

I’m adding another one here for punter Colby Wadman. His clutch fake punt throw to Andy Janovich for a first down ignited a spark that got the Broncos on the board.

“It felt great, obviously, because right after that we got our first touchdown and definitely changed the momentum,” Wadman said after the game. “It just felt great to just make a play for my team and help them out. Andy [Janovich] made a great play catching it and making sure we got the first down.”

It was those kinds of game-changing plays that helped the Broncos come out victorious in this game. - Tim Lynch

Brandon McManus

Redemption is always sweet, and McManus got his with a game-winning 34-yard field goal. Mile High Salute to the Broncos kicker for stepping up and coming through for his team. - Ian St. Clair