Royal keeps Broncos unbeaten
Published 4:29 am Tuesday, October 20, 2009
SAN DIEGO — Eddie Royal became the first player in Broncos history to return a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns in the same game, leading undefeated Denver to a wild 34-23 win over the San Diego Chargers on Monday night.
The Broncos didn’t get an offensive touchdown until Kyle Orton threw a 19-yard pass to tight end Tony Scheffler late in the third quarter for a 24-23 lead. Denver added a field goal by Matt Prater and a late 5-yard touchdown catch by Brandon Stokley that was upheld on review.
This is the fifth time the Broncos have been 6-0, the first since going 13-0 in 1998 en route to winning their second straight Super Bowl behind John Elway. They opened a 3 1/2-game lead in the AFC West over three-time defending division champion San Diego (2-3).
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Denver outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil had two sacks to extend his NFL lead to 10. His second sack caused Philip Rivers to fumble, with Vonnie Holliday recovering to set up Prater’s 29-yard field goal. The Broncos sacked Rivers five times, three in the fourth quarter.
Royal is the 11th player in NFL history to return a kickoff and a punt for a touchdown in a game. He had a 93-yard kickoff return and a 71-yard punt return.
‘‘You’ve got to believe it can happen before you do it,’’ he said. ‘‘I’ve got a lot of faith in the guys in front of me, so I wasn’t surprised.