Top stats to know: Broncos 35, Chargers 21

Peyton Manning

ManningThe Denver Broncos beat the San Diego Chargers 35-21 on Thursday night. The game featured solid performances from both quarterbacks as expected, but Peyton Manning was simply better than Philip Rivers on this night.

The Broncos have now won four straight games by an average of 18.5 points per game, while the Chargers fell to 1-3 versus the Broncos since the start of last season (including playoffs).

More Manning records

Manning threw three touchdowns and no interceptions to extend his streak of consecutive games with at least one passing touchdown to 46 consecutive games, the longest active streak and the fourth-longest streak in NFL history. Over his past three games, Manning has thrown 10 touchdowns without throwing a single interception.

In fact, another multi-touchdown game gave Manning 13 straight games with multiple passing touchdowns, tying the NFL record held by himself, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. He eclipsed the 20-touchdown mark for the 16th season in his career, passing Brett Favre for the most such seasons all time.

Peyton Manning In Thursday Games

Historically, Manning has excelled in Thursday games, holding the records for Thursday wins (10), passing yards (3,591) and passing touchdowns (38), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Sanders’ breakout game

Manning had a favorite target and it was not Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas or Wes Welker. Instead it was Emmanuel Sanders, who had a career-high three touchdown catches against the Chargers. Manning was a perfect 9-for-9 for 120 yards, three touchdowns and six first downs when targeting Sanders.

Sanders became the fifth player to catch at least three touchdowns in a single game this season and the fourth to do it in a primetime game. Prior to Thursday, Sanders had not had a multi-touchdown game in his 62-game career.

Quick hitters

Juwan Thompson ran for two touchdowns after having one career touchdown entering the game.

• Since 2012, the Broncos are 19-2 at home and 13-1 versus divisional opponents, both NFL bests.

• Rivers threw for three touchdowns in a losing effort, but his streak of seven straight games with at least two touchdown passes broke the Chargers franchise record set by Dan Fouts in 1981, according to Elias.

Antonio Gates had 54 receiving yards to bring his career total to 9,610, passing Lance Alworth for most career receiving yards in Chargers history. Gates also caught two touchdown passes to bring his season total to nine, tying Julius Thomas for most this season.