Von Miller keeps Broncos' hopes alive with 'huge' effort

CARSON, Calif. -- All season the Denver Broncos have professed to believe, without hesitation, in their roster, in their locker room, in their front-line players.

And Sunday, just when it looked like they were creating yet another rinse-and-repeat close loss to the one of the league's hottest teams, Von Miller made a play. Miller, who did plenty of the heavy lifting to put a third Super Bowl trophy into the team complex's lobby, turned the game around on Sunday with his second career interception, his first since 2012.

"It's been a while," Miller said just before he left StubHub Center on Sunday night. "But I'll take them anytime I can get them."

Miller's interception was a tipping point Sunday, perhaps the tipping point in the Broncos' 23-22 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. Yes, the Broncos sacked Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers three times, cornerback Chris Harris Jr. added an interception and rookie running back Phillip Lindsay had two more touchdowns.

But with the Broncos trailing 19-7 and less than four minutes remaining in the third quarter, Miller's snatch of an attempted screen pass to wide receiver Travis Benjamin was just what the Broncos needed.

"That was huge," Broncos coach Vance Joseph said.

"Huge," Harris said. "Just huge."

"Huge play," quarterback Case Keenum said.

It came with the Chargers having pushed the ball to the Broncos' 35-yard line. On a third-and-9, with a minimum of a field goal about to be added to their 12-point lead, the Chargers went to a play that had already worked against the Broncos' defense.

This time, Rivers tried to slip the ball to Benjamin, and Miller saw it coming.

"I had the [running] back to the flat," Miller said. "The back didn't go to the flat, so I just fell off and I knew there were three receivers outside of me, so I kind of just stayed there for the screen."

"Von sniffed it out," Rivers said. "I wish I had held on to it, just took the sack and ran the time off. I didn't do that. I wish I had."

Miller then romped up the left sideline for 42 yards before Benjamin chased him down. It gave the Broncos the ball on the Chargers' 18-yard line, and three plays later, rookie Royce Freeman powered in from the 3-yard line and the Broncos had cut the lead to 19-14.

"That's our motto -- somebody make a play," Miller said. "It doesn't matter who it is. I read the right thing and he threw it straight to me. We've been in games like this all year long ... we've had opportunities to win and just fell short."

This time it seemed to lift the Broncos, who won when Brandon McManus' 34-yard field goal was declared good as time expired.

Asked afterward if one game, like Sunday's game, could turn their season around, Miller simply said: "Yeah, everybody watched movies, don't they? ... Let's not get too ahead of ourselves; we're 4-6. We still have a long way to go. It's great to chip away at it ... we just have to keep it going."