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(Monday, November 22nd)
Final Score: San Diego 35, Denver 14
San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - Philip Rivers threw four touchdown passes as the surging San Diego Chargers dominated the Denver Broncos, 35-14, in an AFC West battle at Qualcomm Stadium.
Rivers went 15-of-24 for 233 yards and one interception while Mike Tolbert added 25 carries for 111 yards and a score for the Chargers (5-5), who moved back to .500 with a three-game winning streak.
"We have a bunch of resilient, tough guys on this team that never flinch, never blink," said Rivers. "This is a pretty good win we put together today. In all three phases of the game, we played great tonight."
San Diego now sits in a tie for second-place in the division with Oakland, one game behind the first-place Chiefs.
"That was the most complete game we've had this season," said San Diego head coach Norv Turner. "But we don't have any time to rest. We have a short week and we have to get ready to start on Wednesday and travel on Friday. We have to keep the momentum we have going here."
Patrick Crayton had three catches for 105 yards and a score, but left the game after his touchdown with an injured left wrist. Darren Sproles added five catches for 60 yards with a touchdown.
Kyle Orton was 24-for-38 with 217 yards, one touchdown and one interception for the Broncos (3-7), who failed to build on last week's victory over Kansas City and have now dropped five of their last six.
Knowshon Moreno had 13 carries for 58 yards and a score while Brandon Lloyd finished with six catches for 78 yards and a touchdown in the loss, as Denver fell to 1-4 on the road this season.
"We don't have any crystal ball and can't predict what anybody else is going to do," said Denver head coach Josh McDaniels. "There is still a lot of football left to play and we can control what we do."
The Broncos were impressive on their first drive as the team moved 69 yards in just six plays, and Moreno took it into the end zone nearly untouched up the middle from four yards out less than three minutes in. Lloyd had consecutive catches of 21 and 18 yards to help set up the score.
After each team punted, San Diego lined up for another punt, but went for the fake and Mike Scifres tossed it up the middle for Tolbert, who took it 28 yards to the Denver 31. Several plays later, Rivers hit Malcom Floyd in the back of the end zone on a six-yard score to tie the game with 2:14 left in the first.
Nate Kaeding missed a 52-yard field goal early in the second, but Denver was unable to take advantage of the short field and San Diego got the ball back at its own 13.
On the second play, a 16-yard catch by Crayton and a face mask call on Denver pushed the ball near midfield. Crayton then had a 49-yard catch to set up a 1st-and-goal at the six. Three plays later, Tolbert took it in from a yard out for a 14-7 lead.
Rivers was picked off deep in Denver territory on San Diego's next touch, but the hosts forced another punt. On the second play of the ensuing drive, Crayton took a quick screen pass out to the left and followed his blockers into the end zone on a 40-yard score for a 21-7 lead with 2:05 left in the half.
San Diego continued to pour it on in the second half as the team started the third with the ball and scored less than 2 1/2 minutes in when Rivers hit Sproles over the middle and he took it into the end zone around the right side on a 57-yard score.
Denver punted on its next two possessions, managing just one first down, and San Diego started its fifth scoring drive at its own 47 with under six minutes to play in the third.
The Chargers ate up the rest of the third and scored on the second play of the fourth as Rivers found Jacob Hester from three yards out for a 35-7 lead to finish the 11-play drive.
Denver got a score with 8:48 to play when Lloyd made a nice leaping catch in the back of the end zone on a 13-yard score to make it a 35-14 game.
The Chargers play at Indianapolis next Sunday...The Broncos welcome St. Louis to Denver next Sunday...The Chargers have won seven of the past nine against the Broncos...Denver wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and linebacker D.J. Williams left the game. Williams' injury was termed a concussion while it was unknown what Thomas' injury was...San Diego outgained Denver, 400-235, and controlled the ball for over 34 minutes...San Diego tight end Antonio Gates missed his second straight game with a toe injury.
11/23 01:24:11 ET
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