Except it wasn't the passing game that came to life. The 20 second-half points were on the backs of runners Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson. The duo combined for 212 yards on 30 carries (7.1 average). Manning meanwhile finished with five completions on nine passes for 69 yards.
Following the victory, Manning said he thought Brock Osweiler played well despite the team's five turnovers and wouldn't take credit for the offense's success in second half.
"I don't know if I can -- sometimes those things are so easy to say after the fact because Ronnie made a good run and C.J. made a couple of good runs," Manning said, via the Denver Post. "I'm not sure that had much to do with me being in there. I think just that the execution was better in the second half. Up front, they gave some bigger holes to run the ball. I can't take credit for having a really good handoff, like I'm helping those guys hold onto the ball. I refuse to do that."
Gary Kubiak said he hasn't made a decision on who will start in the Broncos' first playoff game in two weeks, but we find it difficult to believe he'd have put Manning in the game if he didn't plan on moving in that direction in the postseason.
While Manning wouldn't take credit for the run game success, he made several audibles in the second half that got the Broncos in the best running play to gash the Chargers' defense. When the general is making the right decisions, the soldiers are better positioned to dominate.
Manning's arm might not be what it was and he's had some disastrous games this season, but when it comes to the playoffs, are there any defensive coaches who would rather see Manning under center than Osweiler with a championship on the line?