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Sun., Dec. 11, 2016 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM PST
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Interception Buoys Chargers Over Broncos
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Corey Liuget was having a monster game.
He was creating constant penetration in the backfield, and single-handedly beat two Broncos linemen off the snap leading directly to a Marcus Gilchrist sack in the second quarter. After the game, that play ate at Liuget, who while happy it led to a sack for his teammate, felt he could have done even more on the play.
“I was (angry) at myself about that,” he said with a big grin in the locker room. “That was a slam dunk alley-oop layup that I missed. But I’m glad Gilly got it…That’s all that matters.”
While he felt he came up short on that play, Liuget came up clutch with the biggest defensive play of the game. In the fourth quarter, Peyton Manning and the Broncos had an opportunity to tie the game with a touchdown. They did, at least, until Liuget hit Manning as he threw and Thomas Keiser slid under the ball to secure the interception.
“I was just rushing the guard and tackle knowing I had to get out to contain,” he said. “But then I saw Peyton step up in the lane that I was rushing in. I just went ahead and took it and made a pretty good play. Thomas Keiser finished it.”
So what was it like watching and then knowing the impact his deflection caused?
“It’s very emotional,” Liuget said. “My heart filled up with joy because at that moment you knew you had a good chance to win the game. We knew we just had to go out and finish it.”
Keiser had his own unique perspective on the play.
“I dropped back into coverage, and I could tell Peyton was looking for a receiver and he was flushed out to the right,” he said. “When he did, I was just trying to watch him. Corey was able to hit his arm, and the ball was the only thing I could see. I planted and slipped a little bit, but I was just waiting for that ball to finally fall into my hands.”
Keiser was asked if it was the biggest play of his young career, and he didn’t hesitate to answer.
“I think so,” he said. “I think this was really important, not only for us winning this game, but for keeping our season alive. This keeps us alive to get into the playoffs. We would have had no chance if we didn’t win, so this keeps us alive and now we have to get a win next Sunday.”
The interception certainly wasn’t pretty, but it was awfully effective. Still, that doesn’t mean Keiser didn’t take some flak from his teammates on the clumsy pick.
“Oh they were all like ‘Hey you caught it with your chest,’” he said animatedly in the locker room while the likes of Donald Butler, Lawrence Guy and Kendall Reyes continued to give him some good natured ribbing. “I was like no, I caught it with my hands but when I slipped I was down on my knees!”
Regardless of how the interception happened, it was arguably the biggest of the season for the Bolts. A few plays later Nick Novak sealed the deal with a field goal and the Chargers were able to fly home happy with the victory. Read