If Bubby Brister or Brian Griese isn't the successor to John Elway, maybe Chris Miller is.
The 34-year-old Miller, who sat out for three years because of a series of concussions before signing with Denver this spring, directed two late drives to set up Jason Elam's tying and winning field goals as the Broncos rallied from a 17-0 deficit to beat the San Diego Chargers, 20-17, yesterday in Sydney.
Brister, Elway's designated successor as the Broncos try to become the first team to win three straight Super Bowls, had his first pass picked off by Michael Dumas. Then Griese, the team's quarterback of the future, threw an interception late in the first half that was returned 51 yards for a touchdown by San Diego linebacker Gerald Dixon.
The Chargers led, 17-0, early in the third quarter, but after that, it was all Denver before a crowd of 73,811 at Stadium Australia, primary venue for next year's Olympics.
Griese's 21-yard touchdown pass to Andre Cooper cut it to 17-7 with 5 minutes 14 seconds left in the third quarter. Forty-two seconds later, Tory James picked off a pass by Craig Whelihan, San Diego's third-stringer, and returned it 59 yards for a score that cut it to 17-14.
Then Miller, who finished 11 of 13, led the two drives, one setting up a 20-yard field goal by Elam to tie it, the second to set up a 24-yarder as time ran out.
* RAIDERS 18, RAMS 17: Quarterback Rich Gannon, making his Oakland debut, completed 7 of 10 passes for 68 yards and directed a scoring drive in St. Louis.
Trent Green, who grew up in St. Louis, had a successful homecoming with the Rams, completing 7 of 8 passes for 119 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown to rookie Torry Holt. Green, who played for Washington last season, signed with the Rams as an unrestricted free agent this winter.
Gannon, who signed as a free agent from Kansas City in the offseason, left with 7:32 remaining in the first half after directing an 82-yard scoring drive that culminated in a one-yard touchdown run by Randy Jordan.
Rams running back Marshall Faulk was in uniform but did not play. Faulk ended his holdout by signing a seven-year, $45 million contract Wednesday. Greg Hill started in his place and had 29 yards on five carries.
* BEARS 9, COLTS 6: Cade McNown capped a whirlwind week with his first NFL victory.
After just four days of training camp, McNown made the most of his chance to run the Chicago offense one extra time, taking the host Bears on a 56-yard, eight-play drive that included an impressive 21-yard pass and another bomb that kept the series alive. The Bears settled for Todd Sauerbrun's 30-yard field goal, but McNown gave the 37,721 fans who showed up some hope for this season.
"I enjoyed getting a chance to go out there and play," he said. "I said earlier it wasn't pretty, but at least we won. Every win is beautiful."