That's the reality of playing a dangerous scoring team like the Broncos twice a year. Instead of capitalizing on an interception, Manning had another down to play with. And with that new life, he found Thomas on the very next play for their third touchdown of the game.
Manning and the Broncos aren't infallible. But Mike McCoy said it's tough to beat a team of their caliber when his team didn't make the plays they needed throughout the course of Sunday's home loss.
"Too many little mistakes overall – the whole football team," said McCoy. "Offensively and defensively, when you play a good team like this, you’ve got to play to the best of your abilities. You can’t have little mistakes. You can’t do that and win games."
That's not to say McCoy's team didn't make plays. They contained dangerous Broncos returner Trindon Holliday all afternoon, and made an early impact of their own on special teams with a successful fake punt.
Later in the third quarter,
But Williams said he couldn’t think about his big play in the shadow of the team’s loss. And that’s because he knows – as every Bolts player does – that a few more big plays would’ve gone a long way.
The Bolts kicked two field goals from around the Broncos' red zone early in that game that didn't stack up to Manning's two touchdowns. The Broncos pulled even further away when a third field goal attempt went wide, giving the ball back to Manning and his offense with enough time to score again.
The Broncos scored, but the Chargers weren't exactly offensive slouches. Still, it hurt when points came off
Those early big plays could’ve been useful as the Bolts played catch-up later on.
“That was the difference there,” said Rivers. We had a long way to go. It was 28-6; it wasn’t like it was going to be easy, but we kept battling.”
Each built-up mistake made that battle an uphill one, though. A timeout was burned at the beginning of the
The Bolts paid the price for those mistakes eventually. Down just eight points, they watched as Manning did just enough to keep a clock-draining last possession going.
“When you play a team like this, you have to play your best for 60 minutes,” McCoy reiterated. “You can’t give them any freebies.”