DENVER — It started out as a giveaway and ended in a keep-away.
Mike McCoy’s gamble paid huge dividends when San Diego’s coach outfoxed mentor John Fox and handed Peyton Manning his first divisional loss since coming to Denver as the Chargers stunned the Broncos 27-20 on Thursday night.
‘‘We didn’t have the ball much and when we had it, we didn’t do much with it,’’ a dejected Manning said after spending much of his night on the sideline.
McCoy bucked conventional wisdom and give Manning the ball first, deferring after winning the coin toss.
It seemed like a huge mistake when Manning, who entered the game with 45 TD throws as leader of a high-octane offense that was scoring nearly 40 points a game, needed just seven plays to put the Broncos ahead 7-0 with a 15-yard touchdown toss to Bubba Caldwell.
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