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McCoy: "You Can't Give Them Any Freebies"

Posted Nov 10, 2013

The San Diego Chargers made too many mistakes that the Broncos capitalized on.

Peyton Manning rarely throws a pass he'd like to have back.  But when he does – like the one aimed for Demaryius Thomas in the third quarter that grazed the hands of Donald Butler before falling incomplete -- you either take advantage of it or pay the price.

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.

Eric Weddle said the coverage wasn't ideal when he took the snap on his own 29-yard line, but his team needed to set the tone for an afternoon's worth of big plays and he wanted to deliver the first.

Later in the third quarter, Tourek Williams got just enough of an edge on Broncos tackle Chris Clark to gain a clean look at Manning.  The Sheriff never saw Williams' tomahawk-chop coming and fumbled the ball away.

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 the board and set up the opposition like that.  And it hurt just as much when two big plays of your own -- a 39-yard run by Ryan Mathews and a 23-yard catch and run by Ladarius Green -- went for nothing after costly penalties.

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 fourth quarter when the Bolts couldn’t line up in time. And later in the quarter, when Philip Rivers and the offense was poised to close the gap even further, an eager lineman jumped early and made a tough third down situation even tougher.

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.”

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