SAN DIEGO** – Brock Osweiler isn't looking for perfection.
The fourth-year quarterback is more focused on winning football games, and with his third career start, Osweiler led the Denver Broncos to their third straight victory with a 17-3 win at San Diego.
"I think we had a tremendous team win on the road against a great divisional opponent," Osweiler said. "We knew that we would get a great effort from the Chargers; we knew they had a lot of talent; we knew it'd be a tough football game. I think this is just a credit to this team and how hard everybody works throughout the week in preparation and getting ready."
The Broncos started out hot as Osweiler orchestrated a 75-yard, eight-play drive that concluded with a three-yard toss to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to put the Broncos up on the Chargers 3:45 into the game. It was the second time in three games that the Broncos scored on their opening drive after not accomplishing that feat in the first nine games of the season.
But the opening touchdown proved to be the first and last for the offense. The rest of the points came from inside linebacker Danny Trevathan, who returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown, and kicker Brandon McManus, who contributed a 23-yard field goal in the second quarter.
Although the offense mounted three more drives that netted at least 46 yards, it also went three-and-out three times and had more drives end in punts (five) than scores (two). There were promising moments, but also frustrating ones like his third-quarter interception.
"Have I played perfect though? Absolutely not," Osweiler said. "I think that's the one thing, over the course of these three football games, I'm learning so much every single time I'm out there on the field. I think it's okay to make mistakes once in a while as long as it doesn't hurt your team, but the important thing is learning from those mistakes and making sure that they don't happen again."
The Broncos didn't score in the second half, but they didn't need to with the defense holding San Diego to three points.
Osweiler finished the day going 16-of-26 for 166 passing yards with the touchdown and interception. Fortunately for the Broncos, Denver's defense stepped up after his interception and halted the Chargers from putting any points on the board.
"I think the most important reason why my mistakes, a turnover that I had today in the red area, a turnover I had last week, is because of how great our defense is and how hard those guys play," Osweiler said. "Our defense consistently put the offense in great position throughout the game. Our special teams does the same thing. So, what makes this football team special is that we know how to win and to win as a football team."
With the New England Patriots losing their second consecutive game, the AFC has suddenly become wide open for its three 10-2 teams: the Cincinnati Bengals, Patriots and Broncos.
"I think the most important thing is, you can never look too far ahead," Owesiler said. "If you look too far ahead, you're going to get bit somewhere along the way. One thing that Coach [Gary] Kubiak preaches and one thing that's been ingrained in my head is just to keep a small focus and take it week-by-week and that's exactly what this football team is going to do."