Humphries Takes a Page From Elway for Victory : AFC: Quarterback engineers 79-yard fourth-quarter drive and the Chargers defeat the Broncos, 13-10.
This time, the fourth quarter didn’t belong to John Elway. It belonged to Stan Humphries.
Humphries led the San Diego Chargers on a 12-play, 79-yard drive that was capped by John Carney’s 34-yard field goal with three seconds left, and the Chargers beat the Denver Broncos, 13-10, Sunday.
“It was exciting to me to have an opportunity to try to win a football game like that,” Humphries said. “I don’t think I’ve ever really been in a situation to try to win one late like that, except maybe last year in Cleveland.”
In that game, Humphries threw a 45-yard pass to Anthony Miller with 2:05 remaining to give the Chargers a 14-13 victory, the first of seven in a row that gave the Chargers the AFC West title.
This year has been a struggle for the Chargers (6-6), but everything clicked on that last drive Sunday.
Humphries was seven of 10 for 72 yards on the drive, which started on the Charger five with 2:57 to play. He connected with Nate Lewis for nine yards on third-and-two early in the drive, and connected with Ronnie Harmon over the middle for an 11-yard gain on third-and-six from the Denver 27.
That set up Carney, who earlier made a 27-yarder but also missed from 56 and 47 yards, for the game-winner.
“We were able just to take some chunks,” Humphries said. “We didn’t really get any huge-yardage plays, but we got some five-, 10-, 15-yarders here and there that add up and move the chains.”
Another key play was a 14-yard pass to Johnnie Barnes, who barely got both feet down before tumbling out of bounds at the 50.
Humphries completed 22 of 39 passes for 221 yards in his second game back after a layoff to let his bruised throwing shoulder heal.
“Stan kind of picked us apart late,” said Bronco running back Rod Bernstine, a former Charger.
Said Elway: “He’s been playing real well the last couple of weeks. It didn’t surprise me he made some big plays there.”
Denver fell to 7-5, two games behind first-place Kansas City.
Elway surpassed 3,000 yards passing for the eighth consecutive season, but he twice was turned back in the fourth quarter, when he usually does his magic.
He also was held to his lowest output of the year, 171 yards and no touchdowns on 14-for-32 passing. His previous low was 188 yards in a 23-20 loss to the Raiders on Oct. 18. He hadn’t been held without a touchdown pass since the second-to-last game of 1992 against Seattle.
“I don’t think you can point at the defense,” Elway said. “This one you have to point at me and the offense because we didn’t get the job done.