Justin Edmonds/Getty Images(SAN DIEGO) — Connor Barth kicked five field goals, and Peyton Manning threw for 233 yards and a touchdown while playing with flu-like symptoms, to lead the Denver Broncos past the San Diego Chargers 22-10 Sunday.
The win clinches Denver (11-3) its fourth straight AFC West title.
The Broncos are currently tied with the New England Patriots for the best record in the AFC, but the Pats hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.
“We’re one step closer,” Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders said. “Obviously we’ve got a playoff berth now and in order to win it all we have to make the playoffs and that’s something that we did. We’re excited but we’ve still got two more games left on the schedule and we’re watching New England close and obviously we want to clinch home-field advantage but we just have to continuously handle business.”
Manning had to take four bags of intravenous fluid between Saturday night and Sunday morning, and while he wasn’t perfect, he was still effective. He even extended his NFL record to 14 seasons with 4,000 passing yards.
“He went out there and battled,” Broncos running back C.J. Anderson, who rushed for 89 yards, said of Manning. “He battled the Chargers’ D, battled the crowd, battled the adversity and battled himself. That’s a lot of battles going on in one man’s lifetime right now. But he went out there and overcame it and helped us out with a `W’ today.”
The Chargers (8-6) dropped out of the No. 6 seed in the AFC playoffs with the loss.
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